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Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, founder of Vera Bradley (Nasdaq: VRA), is the latest in a series of entrepreneurs highlighted at ACG New York Women of Leadership events. Photo credit: Robert Blumenfeld


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Bayer AG on Buying Spree Under CEO Marijn Dekkers

Schiff Nutrition International among the latest acquisitions from Bayer

Bayer HealthCare LLC, a subsidiary of Germany's Bayer AG, recently agreed to purchase Schiff Nutrition International, Inc. (NYSE: SHF), a private equity-backed U.S. producer of non-subscription vitamins and nutritional supplements, including cardiovascular treatment MegaRed, joint-care treatment Move Free and immune support treatment Airborne, in a deal valued at $1.2 billion.

The deal is the latest acquisition for Bayer AG, which has become increasingly acquisitive since Marijn Dekkers became chief executive in 2010. It is designed to generate Bayer HealthCare's growth in non-subscription drugs and expand its business in the U.S.

"Bayer is committed to augment its organic growth with strategic bolt-on acquisitions," says Dekkers. "The Schiff business significantly enhances our presence and position in the United States, which accounts for more over-the-counter and nutritional products sales than any other country in the world."

Private equity firm TPG Growth bought roughly 25 percent of Schiff Nutrition in 2010 and helped the supplement developer make bolt-on acquisitions, including, most significantly, Airborne Inc. for $150 million in cash in March of 2012. Previously, Schiff Nutrition bought probiotic brands, intellectual property and technology from Ganeden Biotech in 2011.

Bayer HealthCare's consumer division is headquartered in Morristown, N.J. and markets such well-known brands as Bayer Aspirin, Aleve, Alka-Seltzer, Bactine, Phillips' Milk of Magnesia, Midol and One-A-Day vitamins.

In September, Bayer HealthCare agreed to acquire Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.'s (NYSE: TEVA) animal health business for $145 million. And in July, Bayer CropScience AG, agreed to buy AgraQuest Inc., a developer of fungi-killing bacteria to fight plant disease, for $425 million and an undisclosed amount in profit-related payments.

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