China's Bright Food may buy GNC

Updated: 2010-12-07 09:13
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China's Bright Food Group Co is nearing a deal to buy US vitamin retail chain GNC Holdings Inc for $2.5 billion to $3 billion, Reuters reported on Dec 6, citing the Wall Street Journal.

The potential acquisition of Pittsburgh-based GNC, which is owned by Ares Management and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, could be announced in the next few days, although it could still be derailed, the Journal said in its website, citing those sources.

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Bright Food could not be reached for comment. A spokesman for Ares Management did not immediately return phone calls.

Bright Food is one of China's largest food and dairy companies. Recently it was in talks to buy United Biscuits for about $3.2 billion, but then turned its attention to GNC, the Journal said, citing two of the people familiar with the matter.

GNC sells nutrition supplements, vitamins, sports drinks and other diet products through its global network of about 7,100 stores.

GNC's current owners paid private equity firm Apollo Management $1.65 billion in 2007 for the company, the Journal said.