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Blyth delays completion of ViSalus purchase to 2014

Monday, 1 Oct 2012 | 6:20 PM ET

Oct 1 (Reuters) - Candle maker Blyth Inc said it would delay buying until April 2014 the remainder of ViSalus Inc that it does not already own, days after it withdrew the nutritional supplement seller's planned initial public offering.

Blyth signed a deal to buy ViSalus in 2008, but structured it such that it would pick up the direct seller of weight-management products in four investments through 2012.

ViSalus, in which Blyth currently owns a 73 percent stake, withdrew its planned IPO on Wednesday, a little over a month after filing to go public. It had filed in August to raise up to $175 million.

Moody's downgraded its outlook on Blyth to negative from stable last month, saying Blyth's liquidity in 2013 will be constrained by weakness in its candle business as well as its obligation to pick up the remaining stake in ViSalus.

The credit agency estimated that Blyth would have to pay $271 million for the stake.

As of June 30, Blyth had cash of $166.7 million and long-term debt of about $100 million.

Blyth said on Monday that the purchase price to be paid for the remaining stake will be determined by ViSalus' core earnings for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2013.

Blyth said it also signed ViSalus Chief Executive Ryan Blair and Chief Marketing Officer Blake Mallen to new five-year employment contracts.

Blyth shares were up as much as 14 percent in trading after the bell. They had closed at $26.77 on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting By Maria Ajit Thomas and Ashutosh Pandey in Bangalore; Editing by Anthony Kurian and Supriya Kurane)

((maria.ajit@thomsonreuters.com)(within U.S. +1 646 223 8780)(outside U.S. +91 80 4135 5800)(Reuters Messaging: maria.ajit.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: BLYTH VISALUS/

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