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Herbalife Buyout By Equity Groups Achieves Long-Sought Private Ownership

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

The pending acquisition of Herbalife by equity firms Whitney & Co. and Golden Gate Capital ends a two-and-a-half year effort, initiated by late founder and CEO Mark Hughes, to take the direct marketer private

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Herbalife goes private

Supplement direct marketer's stock delisted from NASDAQ July 31 upon same-day shareholder approval, completion of $685 mil. transaction to take company private. Holders of approximately 73.9% of all shares of voting common stock gave their consent to the transaction, with stockholders receiving $19.50 per share. Herbalife was acquired by an investor group led by equity firms Whitney & Co. and Golden Gate Capital, in partnership with direct marketer's distributors, senior management. Whitney Chairman & Managing Partner Peter Castleman is new chairman of Herbalife, while Francis Tirelli remains president, CEO. Transaction brings closure to almost three-year effort initiated by late founder Mark Hughes to take the firm private (1"The Tan Sheet" April 15, 2002, p. 5)...

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USANA expansion

Direct marketer's entry into Taiwan slated for Q4. Company putting infrastructure in place and obtaining product approvals, also plans to leverage existing resources in Hong Kong, Australia to support Taiwan entry. One-time costs associated with suspended effort to take direct marketer private result in Q1 earnings per share impact of 3¢, USANA says April 25. Nevertheless, net earnings rose 140% from year-ago quarter to $1.1 mil. on a 3.7% sales gain to $28.6 mil. Improved margins resulted from production efficiencies, adjustment in pricing strategy, firm explains. USANA founder Myron Wentz cited company's improved performance as reason for terminating his bid to take it private (1"The Tan Sheet" April 15, 2002, p. 5)...

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