Usana Buys BabyCare


USANA Health Sciences Inc., which makes nutritional and weight-management products, said Monday that it has acquired BabyCare Ltd., a China-based company that develops and sells infant formula and other nutritional products.

USANA purchased BabyCare for approximately $62.7 million, including $45 million in cash and 400,000 shares of USANA stock, which closed Monday at $44.29.

Beijing-based BabyCare, which was founded in 1999 by American entrepreneur Matthew Estes, has operations in 21 cities. The company has service centers — where families can attend classes and buy nutritional supplements — as well as a commission-based direct-sales force.

USANA CEO Dave Wentz said BabyCare will give his company valuable knowledge and direct-sales capability as it enters China’s enormous market.

USANA plans to let BabyCare continue operating as a stand-alone company for 18 to 24 months. Eventually, USANA wants to establish and grow its own brand in China, Wentz said.

Wentz said BabyCare has “pristine” manufacturing practices. The company wasn’t involved in a 2008 scandal in which more than 300,000 children were sickened and six died after drinking Chinese infant formula tainted by the industrial chemical melamine.

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