U.K. consumer products company the Reckitt Benckiser Group jumped into the bidding war for Schiff Nutrition International Friday by making a $1.4 billion offer for the Salt Lake City–based vitamin and nutritional supplement maker.
Reckitt’s offer trumps the $1.2 billion deal Schiff struck with German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG in late October. Reckitt announced its intentions toward Schiff Thursday before submitting a $42-per-Schiff-share tender bid Friday. Reckin said the cash proposal will expire December 14 at 9 a.m. EST. The Bayer offer Schiff agreed to last month values Schiff at $34 per share.
Reckitt’s offer is subject to shareholder interest and to the termination of Schiff’s agreement with Bayer. That agreement calls for Schiff to pay Bayer a $22 million breakup fee should it back out of their deal.
Schiff’s products include Airborne and Move Free, which the company touts, respectively, for their immunity-boosting and joint-easing abilities. Reckitt is a leading international producer of household cleaning products and also sells a variety of other products, including Strepsils sore throat medicine and Durex condoms.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison corporate partners Toby Myerson, Kelley Parker, and Steven Williams are leading a team from the firm advising Reckitt on its bid for Schiff. Deputy general counsel Kelly Slavitt is leading the in-house team for Reckitt, according to regulatory filings.
As The Am Law Daily reported last month, Schiff has turned to Latham & Watkins as legal counsel on its sale, with corporate partners Tad Freese and Jamie Leigh leading the deal team. The company’s general counsel, Scott Milsten, is a former Latham attorney, and the firm advised Schiff on its acquisition of Airborne for $150 million earlier this year.