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Vitamins firm attracts Chinese buyer

AAP logoAAP 4/08/2016

A Chinese consortium is set to swallow Australian vitamins and supplements maker Vitaco for more than $300 million.

Less than a year since listing on the Australian share market, Vitaco has entered a scheme arrangement with Shanghai Pharmaceuticals and Chinese investment firm Primavera Capital.

Vitaco's range of brands include Nutra-Life, Bodytrim and Musashi.

China has a big appetite for Australian vitamins, baby formula and dairy products, which have a reputation as clean and of high quality.

This appetite for Aussie products saw Chinese firm Biostime acquire Australian vitamins brand Swisse in 2015 after it outbid other contenders, including Shanghai Pharmaceuticals.

Under the proposed Vitaco deal, shareholders will receive $2.25 in cash per share, which values the company at about $314 million.

Vitaco shares were offered to investors at $2.10 prior to its market listing, valuing the company at $292 million.

Shares in Vitaco soared more than 20 per cent on Thursday, up 35 cents at $2.11 at 1410 AEST.

The takeover bid for Vitaco is yet to pass a number of conditions, including shareholder and court approval and a green light from the Foreign Investment Review Board.

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