Ronkonkoma-based vitamin and dietary supplement maker NBTY Inc. will sell its retail business Vitamin World Inc. to a private equity firm for about $25 million.
NBTY agreed on Monday to sell Vitamin World and its assets, including its headquarters in Bohemia, to VWRE Holdings Inc., an entity of Centre Lane Partners LLC, a private investment firm based in Manhattan.
As part of the transaction, NBTY agreed to provide transitional services and supply vitamins and nutritional supplements for two years. In return, NBTY can purchase 10 percent of the entity set up to buy Vitamin World, according to a federal regulatory filing Tuesday.
The transaction is expected to close by the middle of February. After the deal, Vitamin World will operate as a stand-alone business, and NBTY will no longer run retail stores in the United States.
“For some time, it has been clear that [Vitamin World] should be a stand-alone business with the right investment and resources tailored to a retail operation,” NBTY president and CEO Steve Cahillane said in a statement.
The current 1,800 Vitamin World employees, including 50 people working at the Bohemia headquarters, will continue their employment under the new company, NBTY spokeswoman Sonya Soutus said Tuesday.
“We are enthusiastic about working with the Vitamin World management team and employees to position the business for long term growth and success,” Centre Lane managing director Mayank Singh said in a statement.
Vitamin World, which began in 1976 with a kiosk in upstate Williamsville, operates 380 stores in the United States, Guam, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Vitamin World sells the Vitamin World and Precision Engineered brands.
NBTY is privately owned by the Carlyle Group, a Washington, D.C.-based investment fund. NBTY brands include Nature’s Bounty, Osteo Bi-Flex and Balance Bar. Including Vitamin World, NBTY employs about 13,000 globally, of whom 6,000 are in the U.S., including 2,600 on Long Island.