KKR bets on health, wellness with Nature's Bounty Co. stake and WebMD acquisition

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KKR bets on health, wellness with Nature's Bounty Co. stake and WebMD acquisition

By Michael Johnsen - 07/24/2017

New York — Kohlberg Kravis Roberts on Monday made two massive deals in the health and wellness space, acquiring WebMD outright and taking a majority stake in Carlyle Group's Nature's Bounty Co. Taken together, the two deals couple a significant player in delivering health and wellness through retail and the go-to online source of information when consumers are researching health and wellnesss issues.

WebMD sold for $2.8 billion; financial terms regarding the stake in Nature's Bounty were not disclosed.

“Nature’s Bounty is a unique consumer health and wellness platform that has built an outstanding reputation for developing distinctive brands and high quality products," stated Nate Taylor, member and head of consumer retail, KKR. "We are excited to partner with the management team to grow Nature's Bounty's global franchise.”

“While we close one chapter in our ownership of Nature’s Bounty, we are pleased to remain part of its future," commented Elliot Wagner, managing director for the Carlyle Group. "We’ve supported significant investments in new management talent and functional capabilities, strengthened the branded portfolio and optimized the operations, creating a strong foundation for future growth.”

Meanwhile, KKR's Internet Brands acquired WebMD Health.

"We believe that [the WebMD] transaction will provide additional flexibility and resources to deliver increased value to consumers, healthcare professionals, employers and health plan participants," noted Steven Zatz, CEO WebMD. "I am confident this will be an exciting new chapter for WebMD."

"WebMD and Medscape are the market leaders in online health with unparalleled reach to consumers and healthcare professionals," added Bob Brisco, CEO of Internet Brands. "Since its founding, WebMD has established itself as a trusted resource for health information. We look forward to delivering that resource to even more users, by leveraging our combined resources and presence in online healthcare to catalyze WebMD's future growth."

Under the terms of that agreement, a subsidiary of Internet Brands will commence a tender offer in the next 10 business days to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of WebMD common stock for $66.50 per share to be paid in cash upon completion of the transaction. This valuation represents a premium of approximately 30% to WebMD's share price on February 15, 2017, the day before WebMD announced that it was commencing a process to explore and evaluate potential strategic alternatives, as well as a premium of approximately 20% over WebMD's closing share price on July 21, 2017.

The WebMD board of directors approved the merger agreement. The acquisition is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2017, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.