Carlyle hires Goldman Sachs to help sell Nature’s Bounty -sources

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By Lauren Hirsch and Subrat Patnaik

<span class="articleLocation”>Private equity firm Carlyle Group LP has
hired investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc to help it
explore the sale of one of the largest U.S. herbal supplement
makers, Nature’s Bounty Co, people familiar with the matter
said.

Carlyle is preparing to sell Nature’s Bounty, whose brands
include Solgar and MET-Rx, at a time of growing Chinese interest
in U.S nutrition companies. Chinese consumers, distrustful of
their country’s safety standards, have demonstrated a strong
appetite for such U.S. products.

Nature’s Bounty, formerly known as NBTY Inc, has roughly $3
billion in sales, and could fetch as much as $6 billion in a
sale, one of the sources said.

Ronkonkoma, New York-based Nature’s Bounty has a significant
retail business in Europe under the banner Holland & Barrett,
and may opt to sell it separately, though prefers to sell the
business as one, that source added.

The sources asked not to be named because the matter is
confidential. Nature’s Bounty did not respond to requests for
comment. Carlyle and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.
Bloomberg News first reported Carlyle’s plans to sell Nature’s
Bounty earlier on Friday.

Carlyle acquired NBTY in 2010 for $3.8 billion.

Earlier this year, Iovate Health Sciences International Inc,
the Canadian owner of nutrition supplement MuscleTech, was sold
to China’s Xiwang Foodstuffs Company Ltd for $730 million.

GNC Holdings Inc, a U.S. vitamin retailer, last year
announced it was exploring a sale. It has spoken with potential
Chinese buyers, but has not yet announced any deal.



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