Aurelius buys Scholl shoe business from Reckitt Benckiser

FRANKFURT Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:23am EDT

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German private equity firm Aurelius (AR4G.DE) said on Monday it is buying Reckitt Benckiser's (RB.L) Scholl shoe business in its efforts to expand internationally, betting on the brand's growth potential.

Under the agreement, Aurelius would acquire the international rights for the Scholl footwear business, excluding North and South America.

The rights to that business in the Americas will go to German drugmaker Bayer (BAYGn.DE) as part of its $14 billion purchase of Merck & Co's (MRK.N) consumer health business.

Aside from the Scholl shoe business, which is known for its focus on comfort, Reckitt Benckiser has a Scholl-branded footcare business that includes insoles and blister bandages.

Aurelius, which did not disclose financial details of the deal, said it plans to develop the brand by introducing new products and expanding in new markets.

While Scholl footwear is mostly known in western and southern European countries such as France and Italy, it is not on sale in Aurelius's home market, Germany.

Last year the business achieved sales of about 90 million euros ($122 million), the statement said.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014 and is subject to regulatory approvals, Aurelius said.

($1 = 0.7397 Euros)

(Reporting by Kirsti Knolle and Martinne Geller; Editing by David Goodman)

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