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Nestlé to buy vitamin maker Atrium Innovations for $2.3B

Consumer goods giant Nestlé SA said Dec. 5 that it plans to acquire Canadian vitamin manufacturer Atrium Innovations Inc. for $2.3 billion, a move that expands the Swiss company's health sciences division.

Nestlé said it will acquire the Quebec City-based company from investors led by private equity firm Permira Funds in an all-cash deal, according to a statement. The companies expect the deal to close during the first quarter of 2018, after which Atrium will become part of Nestlé Health Science.

Atrium President and CEO Peter Luther, along with other current executives, will retain their positions after the deal, Nestlé said.

In the U.S., Atrium sells vitamin supplements ranging from cod liver oil to ginger extract under its Pure Encapsulations brand. Atrium also distributes organic and non-GMO vitamins through its Garden of Life brand.

Adding Atrium's supplements to Nestlé's product lineup will allow the company to take advantage of a "fast-growing consumer trend" that favors organic and natural supplements, Nestlé Health Science CEO Greg Behar said in the statement.

"Their brands are a natural complement to our Consumer Care portfolio," Behar said.

Atrium's Luther said the acquisition will allow his company to "accelerate the growth of our brands and reach more people globally," according to Nestlé's statement.

The purchase is the latest in a series Nestlé has made this year after an activist hedge fund led by Dan Loeb disclosed a stake in the company and called for changes, including a face-lift for Nestlé's portfolio of brands. In November, the Vevey, Switzerland-based company was also reportedly one of multiple bidders interested in acquiring U.S. organic and vegetarian food maker Hain Celestial Group Inc.