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Reckitt seals deal to buy Schiff for $1.4 billion

(Reuters) - Reckitt Benckiser Group Pls has signed an agreement to acquire Schiff Nutrition International Inc for $1.4 billion, beating out Germany's Bayer and winning its entry into a $30 billion vitamins and nutrition supplements market.

Schiff's board of directors have approved the previously announced cash tender offer of $42 per share, and recommends shareholders tender into the deal, Reckitt said in a statement on Wednesday.

The agreement had been expected. On Tuesday, Bayer disclosed its decision to capitulate to its rival bidder, which topped its own offer of $1.2 billion.

Reckitt, the British consumer products group behind Cillit Bang cleaner and Durex condoms that launched a tender offer for Schiff on November 16, reaffirmed that it expected the deal to boost earnings immediately on an adjusted basis.

"Schiff's portfolio is an excellent fit with our strategic focus on health and hygiene," Rakesh Kapoor, Reckitt Benckiser Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement.

Morgan Stanley advised Reckitt on the deal.

(Editing by Bernard Orr)

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