Elder Pharma to buy UK’s NeutraHealth for $19.1 mn

Elder Pharma to buy UK’s NeutraHealth for $19.1 mn

Bangalore: NeutraHealth, a UK-based supplier of vitamins and supplements, agreed to be acquired by India’s Elder Pharmaceuticals for about £12.2 million ($19.1 million) in cash due to uncertainty of future performance.

NeutraHealth investors would get 6.5 pence for each share, a 20.9% premium to the stock’s Wednesday close.

“The NeutraHealth board investigated a range of options for the future of the group, and concluded that a sale or break up would be in the best interests of shareholders," the company said in a statement.

Investors representing more than half of the issued share capital in NeutraHealth have already given letters of intent to vote in favour of the recommended offer.

NeutraHealth, which sells supplements to Alliance Boots, Tesco and Superdrug, has seen its shares shedding more than half of their value since being listed on the AIM in 2005.

The company had posted a 71% drop in its latest first-half adjusted pretax profit.

Elder Pharmaceuticals, which is financing the deal by a drawdown under its $18 million loan agreement, will seek further expansion in Europe through the acquisition.

Shares in NeutraHealth were up nearly 21% at 6.5 pence at 1202 GMT on the London Stock Exchange, while Elder Pharma closed down 2.2% at Rs414 on Thursday on the Bombay Stock Exchange.