Reckitt buys US company in Kapoor's first big deal

Reckitt Benckiser yesterday added US vitamins company Schiff to its existing bathroom cupboard of products including Gaviscon and Strepsils, with a $1.4bn (£877.7m) deal which marks the first major acquisition for its new chief executive, Rakesh Kapoor.

Germany drugmaker Bayer had initially agreed to buy Schiff Nutrition International, but Reckitt put in a surprise trump bid of $42 a share last week.

Reckitt Benckiser – whose brands also include Durex condoms, Clearasil spot cream and Cillit Bang cleaner – now has a foothold in the $30bn vitamins and nutrition pills market.

Schiff's products include 3D Cleanse, the Internal Cleanse Program, Move Free for joints and Tiger's Milk nutrition bars.