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July 15, 2010 6:13 PM

Latham, S&C Advise on $3.8 Billion Carlyle Buyout of Vitamin Maker NBTY

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

(Note: Information regarding the lawyers working for Latham & Watkins has been added in the fourth graf below at 4:50 p.m., 7/16/10)

In one of the biggest leveraged buyouts of the year, private equity firm The Carlyle Group has agreed to buy NBTY, a producer of vitamins and nutritional supplements, in an all-cash deal valued at $3.8 billion.

Under the terms of the deal, which NBTY announced in a statement Thursday, Carlyle will acquire all of the company's shares at $55 per share. NBTY, based in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., manufactures products for MET-Rx, Vitamin World, and Puritan's Pride, among other brands.

NBTY relied on counsel from Sullivan & Cromwell, with M&A partner Audra Cohen leading a team from the firm that included corporate partner Neal McKnight. Irene Fisher, NBTY's general counsel, also advised on the deal.

Carlyle turned to a group from Latham & Watkins led by M&A partner David Dantzic, as well as finance partners Jennifer Van Driesen, Jeffrey Chenard, and Rachel Sheridan. Latham has advised Carlyle on multiple transactions in the past, including the private equity firm's 2007 acquisition of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company's Engineered Products Division, a deal that was worth $1.475 billion.

The New York Times's report on the NBTY buyout notes it is a sign that private equity firms are now starting to spread around unspent investor capital. The deal still requires stockholder approval, but both sides say they expect it to close by the end of the year.

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