Church & Dwight to buy Avid Health for $650M

(Reuters) – Consumer goods maker Church & Dwight Co Inc.will buy privately held Avid Health for $650 million in cash to take advantage of the growing nutritional supplement market.

The company said Avid’s gummy vitamins business provides a new growth platform in the fast-growing vitamin, mineral, supplement category.

Church & Dwight, which makes the Arm & Hammer baking soda, expects the deal to dilute its 2012 earnings by 2 cents per share, but add to its 2013 earnings. Including Avid, the company expects to earn between $2.39 and $2.41 per share in 2012.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of $2.42 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Avid, which has brands such as Vitafusion and L’il Critters, had net sales of about $230 million for the trailing twelve months through June 30.

Church & Dwight, which signed the deal on August 17, expects to financethe acquisition with a combination of debt and cash. The deal is expected to close early in the fourth quarter, it said in a statement.

Shares of the Princeton, New Jersey-based Church & Dwight were up 2 percent at $54.00 after the bell. They had closed at $53.04 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.

Bear Growth Capital Partners made an undisclosed investment in Avid Health for a minority stake, according to prior reports.

(Reporting by Chris Jonathan Peters in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Supriya Kurane & Jonathan Marino)

Image Credit: Church & Dwight