TEXT-S&P: Schiff Nutrition ratings remain on watch positive
Overview -- U.S.-based vitamin, mineral, and health supplement (VMHS) company Schiff Nutrition Group has announced its definitive agreement to be acquired by Reckitt Benckiser PLC (A+/Stable/A-1). -- The agreement with Reckitt supersedes the company's previous contract to be acquired by Bayer Healthcare LLC, a subgroup of Bayer AG (A-/Positive/A-2). -- We are maintaining our ratings on Schiff on CreditWatch with positive implications, including the 'B' corporate credit rating. -- The positive CreditWatch placement reflects the likelihood that we would raise our rating on Schiff to be on par with that of Reckitt following the closing of the acquisition, which we expect by year-end. Rating Action On Dec. 4, 2012, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said its ratings on Salt Lake City, Utah-based Schiff Nutrition Group Inc. would remain on CreditWatch, where we placed them with positive implications on Oct. 31, 2012. Rationale The CreditWatch reflects our expectation that we will raise our rating on Schiff to the 'A+' level of Reckitt Benckiser PLC following the completion of the transaction. Reckitt's bid to purchase Schiff was proposed subsequent to that of Bayer Healthcare LLC, a subgroup of Bayer AG. We would also withdraw our ratings on Schiff if the company's existing debt is repaid by Reckitt following the close of the acquisition, which we expect by year-end. CreditWatch We plan to resolve the CreditWatch listing upon completion of the transaction. Related Criteria And Research -- Use Of CreditWatch And Outlooks, Sept. 14, 2009 Ratings List Ratings Remain On CreditWatch Schiff Nutrition Group Inc. Corporate credit rating B/Watch Pos/-- Senior secured B/Watch Pos Recovery rating 3 Complete ratings information is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal at www.globalcreditportal.com. All ratings referenced herein can be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site at www.standardandpoors.com. Use the Ratings search box located in the left column.
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