The Carlyle Group has taken NBTY (NYSE: NTY) private in a $4 billion deal. The firm paid NBTY stockholders $55 in cash per share with equity capital from its Carlyle Partners V and Carlyle Europe Partners III funds. Additional financing was provided by a group of banks led by BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital and Credit Suisse. NBTY manufactures and markets nutritional supplements and was advised by BofA Merrill Lynch, Centerview Partners and Sullivan & Cromwell, while Carlyle was advised by Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse and Latham & Watkins.
Billion dollar deals are back in favor with PE investors. In the last two years, there have been 34 deals valued over $1 billion dollars, according to the PitchBook Platform. 25 of those deals are from this year, a significant jump from the 9 deals for all of 2009. The increase in billion dollar deals is largely driven by two things: the renewed availability of debt for buyouts and the current $425 billion capital overhang for $1 billion+ PE funds. $10 billion deals may still not be possible but $5 billion deals definitely are for the right companies, and with the investment period for many of these large funds ticking down, it is likely that this trend will continue.