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Natrol Buying Herb Tea Maker Laci Le Beau

September 22, 1998|KEN WOO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Natrol Inc., a Chatsworth-based manufacturer of dietary supplements, said Monday that it will purchase herbal tea maker Laci Le Beau Corp.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

"We think Laci Le Beau is one of the premier brands of herbal teas," said Dennis Jolicoeur, Natrol's chief financial officer.

Natrol said it expects the acquisition to begin adding to earnings immediately.

"Herbal teas will immediately add more than 10% to our top-line growth while benefiting our shareholders through product diversification," said Natrol Chairman Elliot Balbert. Laci Le Beau recorded $7.2 million in sales for its fiscal year ended June 30.

Natrol, which manufactures herbal supplements, said Fresno-based Laci Le Beau will become a subsidiary.

The acquisition is expected to be completed Sept. 30, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Natrol, which went public in July, posted sales of $54.2 million for the year ended June 30. On Monday, its shares rose 6 cents to close at $10.13 on Nasdaq, a drop from its initial public offering price of $15.

Last month, Natrol was awarded a patent for its Kavatrol, an herbal preparation containing extract of kava kava, a Polynesian plant prized for its sedative properties.

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