NBTY buys Canadian supplement brand SISU

Related tags Nutrition

Fresh from its acquisition of Solgar, the US' biggest supplement
maker NBTY said today that it has also bought the Canadian
supplement maker and distributor SISU, writes Dominique
Patton.

The move underlines the group's commitment to independent health food stores. Like Solgar, bought for $115m in a deal announced on Monday, SISU specialises in supplements sold to specialised health food stores.

"It is a very exciting market. A whole bunch of companies have not dedicated themselves to supplying independent health food stores but we think there is significant opportunity there,"NBTY​ president and chief financial officer Harvey Kamil told NutraIngredients-USA.com earlier this week.

He added that the firm will set up a new unit, called Independent Health Food Stores, to take over Solgar's business in addition to the current NBTY brands American Health and Good & Natural.

The SISU purchase, for US$5.7 million in cash, will also increase NBTY's presence in Canada.

"SISU will play a key role in expanding NBTY's presence in Canada. The SISU brand name is solidly entrenched with Canadian consumers,"​ said NBTY chairman and CEO Scott Rudolph.

The Burnaby, British Columbia-based firm had sales of approximately US$14 million for 2004. NBTY will repay SISU's indebtedness of $2.5 million, and it also gains net assets of approximately $330,000.

"With our financial strength and proven management expertise, NBTY remains the predominant consolidator in the nutritional supplement industry,"​ added Rudolph.

Last year Fortune Magazine named NBTY as one of the 100 fastest growing companies in America. A major acquisition in 2003, the supplement maker Rexall, has contributed significantly to this growth, although sales have slowed down somewhat over the last six months, partly as a result of the decline in popularity of vitamin E and low-carb products.

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