Carlyle Group has just landed a deal to buy NBTY Inc. for $3.8 billion. That’s $55 a share, or 47% more than NBTY’s closing price of $37.47.Scott Rudolph, NBTY’s CEO, has hailed the deal for its ability to deliver value to the company’s shareholders, according to the Financial Times. The move was unanimously approved, and may mark the end of tough times for the healthcare chain (annual income was down 5% at the end of 2009)
While Rudolph might be sitting happy in a pool of newfound equity, the real question is whether this move means the private equity markets are moving out of their post-Recession doldrums. This is the biggest leveraged buyout to be brokered since November 2009’s IMS Health Inc. deal (TPG and Canada Pension Plan took the reins of the medical-data provider for $4 billion), a deal which itself broke records in 2009.
It looks like this deal is only the beginning of what promises to be an aggressive recovery of the market for leveraged buyouts. PE fund managers are currently sitting on $507 billion of capital raised pre-collapse and have revved up their purchasing appetites as a global economic recovery continues.
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