Reckitt outbids Bayer

Reckitt Benckiser has made a $1.4bn (£881m) bid to add a US vitamins company to its shelves – beating Germany's pharmaceuticals firm Bayer's agreed deal and potentially igniting a huge bidding war.

It is the first major deal for Reckitt's new chief executive Rakesh Kapoor, who took over from Bart Brecht last September Reckitt trumped Bayer's $1.2bn offer to buy Schiff Nutrition International with a cash deal at $42 a share – almost 24 per cent higher than the Bayer agreed to.

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