12/05/2017 07:12 EST | Updated 12/07/2017 08:24 EST

Nestle buying Quebec vitamin maker Atrium Innovations for US$2.3 billion

MONTREAL — European packaged goods giant Nestle says it will acquire Quebec-based vitamin maker Atrium Innovations for US$2.3 billion.

Nestle says the purchase of the privately-held company will support growth in its consumer health-care business.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, subject to customary approvals.

Established in 1999, Atrium's 2017 sales are expected to reach almost US$700 million. Its largest brand is Garden of Life, which is sold in more than 14,000 health food stores and online in the U.S.

Atrium and its 1,400 employees will become part of Nestle Health Science, a division of the world's largest food and beverage company. Its existing management team will remain in place, headed by president and CEO Peter Luther.

Nestle Health Science CEO Greg Behar says the Atrium brands will extend its range of products by adding probiotics, plant-based protein nutrition, meal replacements and an extensive multivitamin line that is part of a fast-growing consumer trend.

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