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Bayer bolsters nutrition portfolio with Schiff

BY CSA STAFF

Bayer HealthCare said it plans to acquire rapidly growing Schiff Nutrition International for $34 a share in a transaction valued at $1.2 billion.

The deal, described as a "bolt-on acquisition" by Bayer, is expected to close by year end. Salt Lake City-based Schiff is a 75-year-old-company known for brands such as MegaRed, Move Free and Airborne.

"This transaction represents an excellent strategic fit for our health care business," said Dr. Marijn Dekkers, CEO of Bayer AG. "The Schiff business significantly enhances our presence and position in the United States, which accounts for more over-the-counter and nutritional products sales than any other country in the world."

Tarang P. Amin, President and CEO of Schiff said the deal with Bayer would take Schiff’s brands to the next level.

"Schiff has a 75 year heritage of providing consumers with quality nutritional products. We are focused on building premium brands and leading innovation," Amin said.

Schiff two months ago projected its current fiscal year sales would increase between 43% and 46% from last year’s level of $259 million due in part to Schiff’s acquisition of Airborne in March.

"We will utilize our extensive marketing, sales and distribution expertise to further develop the strong brands we are acquiring," said Dr. Jorg Reinhardt, CEO of Bayer HealthCare. "We will also look to leverage Schiff’s new technology platforms with innovation potential for other Bayer-owned brands and markets globally."

Schiff employs approximately 400 people between its headquarters and manufacturing site based in Salt Lake City as well as an office in Emeryville, California.

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FINANCE

Consumer confidence rose to highest level in five years

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Detroit — According to Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan on Monday, the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 82.6 in October, the highest level since September 2007.

Economists polled by Bloomberg projected 83 for the measure after a preliminary October reading of 83.1.

The Michigan index of consumer expectations six months from now, which more closely projects the direction of consumer spending, rose to 79 from 73.5 in September. The gauge of current conditions climbed to 88.1 from 85.7 a month ago.

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FINANCE

Survey: More holiday shoppers looking to increase gift-giving this year

BY Michael Johnsen

San Antonio — Consumers plan to buy more gifts this year, according to a recent survey commissioned by USAA and released Monday. The fourth annual USAA holiday spending survey indicated that consumer sentiment toward holiday budgeting has become more positive in 2012 when compared to 2011 (53% versus 45%).

“This year’s survey data aligns with recent reports that holiday sales growth is expected to remain above the 10-year growth rate,” stated JJ Montanaro, USAA spokesman. “Even with the current mixed economic picture, shoppers seem to have more optimism this holiday season, which may be encouraging them to open their wallets.”

For the third year in a row, fewer holiday shoppers plan on cutting their holiday spending and creating a budget. In 2010, 40% of shoppers reported plans to scale back, compared to 31% in 2011 and 24% in 2012. And 61% planned on budgeting for their holiday purchases in 2010, compared to 57% in 2011 and 55% in 2012.

This year’s survey findings underscore the growing trend of mobile shopping with 56% of respondents planning to use their mobile devices as a tool for comparison shopping, downloading coupons, searching for availability in stores and making purchases. According to a recent survey, consumers spent more than $20.7 billion shopping using mobile devices in 2012 and tend to spend an average of $10 more per purchase using their tablet.

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