HEALTH

GSK Consumer Healthcare expands portfolio with Maxinutrition acquisition

BY Michael Johnsen

LONDON — GlaxoSmithKline on Monday announced its acquisition from Darwin Private Equity of Maxinutrition, a U.K. company that manufactures protein-enhanced functional nutrition products.

“This deal will give GSK a strong presence in the fast-developing protein-based sports nutrition market, appealing across a broad spectrum of consumers, from elite athletes to sports participants and those seeking additional nutritional supplementation,” stated John Clarke, GSK Consumer Healthcare president.

The deal is worth approximately $255.5 million, which includes a cash consideration for Maxinutrition shares and assumption of outstanding debt.

Maxinutrition is Europe’s No. 1 sports nutrition company by market share and has delivered sales growth of approximately 21% over the last three years, GSK reported. Maxinutrition recorded sales of approximately $56.8 million for the fiscal year ended in April.

Under the terms of this agreement, GSK will acquire Maxinutrition’s brands, including Maximuscle, the leading brand in the United Kingdom and European sports nutrition market.

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Matrixx agrees to H.I.G. Capital acquisition

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Matrixx Initiatives on Tuesday announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to be acquired by affiliates of private equity firm H.I.G. Capital.

The board of directors of Matrixx unanimously has approved the merger agreement. Under the terms of the merger agreement, affiliates of H.I.G. will commence a tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding shares for approximately $75.2 million.

The tender offer is expected to commence Dec. 22, and to expire on the 20th business day following and including the commencement date. If the tender offer is completed successfully, the parties will complete a second-step merger in which any remaining shares of Matrixx would be converted into the right to receive the same price per share paid in the tender offer.

Matrixx’s shares climbed more than 55%, closing Dec. 14 trading at $7.98 per share.

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FTC fines NBTY regarding children’s vitamins claims

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — As part of its ongoing efforts to stop “bogus” health claims, the Federal Trade Commission on Monday reached a settlement requiring NBTY to stop making false and unproven claims that their supplements promote healthy brain and eye development in children, the agency announced.

NBTY has agreed to pay $2.1 million to provide refunds to consumers who purchased certain multivitamins in its Disney and Marvel Heroes line.

The FTC charged NBTY with making deceptive claims about the amount of DHA — an omega-3 fatty acid — used in its line of Disney- and Marvel Heroes-licensed children’s multivitamin gummies and tablets. NBTY also made unsupported claims that a daily serving of the products promotes healthy brain and eye development in children, according to the FTC administrative complaint.

Product packaging and print ads promoting the vitamins had bold graphics highlighting that the products contained DHA, but in reality, the products allegedly had only a trace amount of DHA. While the vitamins’ packaging touted the purported health benefits of 100 mg of DHA, a daily serving of the Disney and Marvel multivitamins for children ages 4 years and older contained only one thousandth of that amount (0.1 mg or 100 mcg), according to the FTC’s complaint.

The FTC alleged that the packaging and ads for the Disney and Marvel multivitamins misrepresented that they contained a significant amount of DHA, and that NBTY and its subsidiaries, NatureSmart and Rexall Sundown, made unsubstantiated claims that the amount of DHA provided by the multivitamins promotes healthy brain and eye development in children.

The settlement bars NBTY from misrepresenting the amount of any ingredient contained in any product. NBTY also must be able to quantify claims that any ingredient, including DHA, promotes brain or eye health or provides any other health benefit, by “competent and reliable scientific evidence,” the FTC added.

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