Vitaco deal enters final stage, but fellow Australian firm Nature’s Care to stay in private ownership

By Gary Scattergood contact

- Last updated on GMT

The takeover had previously received the backing of the country’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).
The takeover had previously received the backing of the country’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

Related tags: Australia

The Federal Court of Australia has approved the takeover of vitamin firm Vitaco by Chinese investors, with the deal now officially entering the “completion stage”.

The deal that will see SIIC Medical Science and Technology (Group) Limited, a 100% subsidiary of Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holdings, and PV Zeus Limited, a 100% subsidiary of Primavera Capital Fund, acquire the company.

The takeover had previously received the backing of the country’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), which said the Australian government has no objections.

Meanwhile the company’s prospective new owners received approval from the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the Shanghai Municipal Government to implement the takeover scheme back in October.

In August we reported that the deal, valued at US$239m, had been recommended by Vitaco’s directors.

Vitaco’s news owners are paying the equivalent US$1.71 per share, a 28% premium to their closing price before the deal was announced.

At that time, shares in Vitaco, which owns brands such as Nutra-Life, Wagner and Abundant Earth, had dipped by 40% from their peak of US$2.46 last November, in the month after it listed.

Vitaco's chairman Greg Richards said ongoing volatile macroeconomic conditions and regulatory uncertainty in China meant the deal was in the best interests of the company. Shareholders backed his view last month.

Completion stage

Shanghai Pharma previously said in a statement it would acquire 60% stake in the firm, with Primavera taking the remaining 40%.

Updating shareholders on the deal, it stated: On 6 December 2016, the transaction has received the approval of the Federal Court of Australia. The transaction has officially entered into the completion stage.”

One company that won’t be changing hands, however, is Nature’s Care - Australia’s third largest vitamin brand (behind Blackmores and Swiss Wellness).

It had been widely reported that there was an $800m bid on the table – but the firm has decided to stay in the private ownership of the Wu family.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Supplements

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