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A British consumer goods company has made a competing bid for Schiff Nutrition International Inc. a couple weeks after Bayer AG said it will buy the U.S. vitamin and nutritional supplement maker.
Shares of Salt Lake City, Utah-based Schiff shot up more than 28 percent, or $9.58, to $43.50 in Friday morning trading after Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC revealed its offer.
Slough, England-based Reckitt Benckiser said it is starting a tender offer to buy Schiff for $1.4 billion, or $42 per share, in cash. That per-share price represents a premium of more than 23 percent over an offer Bayer made Oct. 30.
The German drugmaker said then that it would buy Schiff for $1.2 billion, or $34 per share, in another cash deal. A Bayer spokesman declined to comment Friday on the competing offer.
Schiff shares closed at $23.19 on Oct. 26, the last trading day before Bayer made its offer.
Schiff products include Tiger's Milk nutrition bars, Omega 3 supplement MegaRed, and Airborne immune system health supplements. Its portfolio includes brands in three of the largest health supplement segments — joint care, cardiovascular health and immune support.
For its fiscal 2012, which ended May 31, Schiff posted revenue of $258.9 million, and net income of $13.7 million, or 47 cents per share. That was up from sales of $213.6 million, and earnings of $12.6 million, or 43 cents per share, for its prior fiscal year.
Reckitt Benckiser said it was confident Schiff's board of directors will chose its "superior proposal," and it believes it can get a deal done before the end of the year.