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California | BRIEFLY / VITAMINS

Numico Deal Sends Rexall's Stock Soaring

May 02, 2000|Reuters

Rexall Sundown Inc.'s stock shot up 22% after Dutch food group Numico agreed to pay $1.8 billion for the Florida-based maker of vitamins and nutritional supplements. Shares of Rexall rose $4.19 to close at $23.44 on Nasdaq. The deal, valued at $24 a share, is backed by insiders controlling more than 50% of Rexall's shares, said Raymond James & Associates Inc. analyst John Ransom. The acquisition will give Numico the top spot in North America's burgeoning mass-market for vitamins and supplements. Cutting his rating on Rexall to market performer from a strong buy, Ransom advised clients to sell Rexall shares because he expected little increase beyond the agreed purchase price. Rexall last year came under a Florida state government inquiry into sales practices at its multilevel marketing division. The company has said it was confident its practices would pass scrutiny. Numico last year jumped into the U.S. supplements market with the acquisition of GNC Nutrition Cos.

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