HEALTH

Perrigo acquires Velcera pet care company

BY Mike Troy

NEW YORK — Leading private-label supplier Perrigo has acquired pet health company Velcera for $160 million.

The deal follows last fall’s acquisition of Sergeants and signals Perrigo’s intent to accelerate growth in areas beyond its traditional businesses of consumer health care, nutrition products and prescriptions. Velcera is a pet health company best known for its PetArmor brand of flea and tick products that are widely available at retailers nationwide, much to the chagrin of veterinarians. PetArmor had sales of $60 million last year.

"We are very pleased to take this next step in expanding our companion animal healthcare business," said Perrigo chairman and CEO Joseph Papa. "Velcera’s product mix represents a natural extension to the Sergeant’s portfolio we acquired last October. The PetArmor franchise will accelerate our strategy to deliver compelling value to both our retail customers and American consumers. Additionally, we see an excellent opportunity to leverage our existing commercial, manufacturing and distribution capabilities, and our customer base, as we aim to make quality, affordable pet care products available to consumers everywhere."

Perrigo announced the acquisition in conjunction with the release of record results for the second quarter ended December 29, and the affirmation of its full year profit forecast. Perrigo expects fiscal 2013 reported earnings to be between $4.73 and $4.93 per share compared to $4.18 in fiscal 2012. On an adjusted basis to exclude some charges, the company expects profits to range from $5.45 and $5.65 per share compared to $4.99 in fiscal 2012.

"Once again, the strength of our diversified business model was evident this quarter," Papa said. "Our consumer healthcare manufacturing operations are producing higher volumes and are operating more efficiently than at any time in our history. We expect further growth in store brand market penetration and strong new product launches, resulting in significant savings to consumers with quality, affordable healthcare products."


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Supplement may reduce gestational diabetes risk in some women, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A nutritional supplement may help ward off gestational diabetes in pregnant women, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by researchers at Italy’s University of Messina and published in the journal Diabetes Care, found that pregnant women with family histories of Type 2 diabetes who received myo-inositol saw a significant reduction in the incidence of gestational diabetes, a condition that causes high blood sugar in some pregnant women.

A group of 220 women was split into two halves, one of which received the supplement with 200 micrograms of folic acid twice per day, and a placebo group that only received the folic acid.

Among those who received myo-inositol, the incidence of gestational diabetes was 6%, compared with 15.3% of those in the placebo group. The researchers concluded that the supplement may reduce the incidence of gestational diabetes in women with a family history of Type 2 diabetes while also possibly reducing the risk of delivering abnormally large babies, also known as macrosomia.


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Swisse Wellness launches supplement line at Walgreens

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A line of OTC products from Australia will hit the shelves of Walgreens Friday.

Swisse Wellness announced plans to roll out its line of multivitamins and other products in October 2012, hiring actress Nicole Kidman as the spokeswoman for the brand.

An announcement on the company’s website noted that the release would coincide with Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday as it touted its Ultivite multivitamins, Swisse Ultiboost Liver Detox and Swisse Ultivite + Energy.

"Here at the new Swisse HQ in Chicago, we’re brushing up on our NFL knowledge before the big game," the announcement read. "We’re more accustomed to Aussie Rules Footy, taking in a Grand Final at the G, watching the tall timber fly for a specky or launch a screwy, shouting ‘Chewy on your boot!!’ to the opposition lining up for a sausage roll. We’ve heard NFL is a bit different. But from what we’ve learned so far, there are a few things our football games have in common: this is a time to catch up with friends, eat lots of food, and cheer on your team!"


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