Chinese buyout firms in the race for Canadian nutrition and weight-loss products maker Iovate Health

Chinese buyout firms CDH Investments Fund Management Co and Hony Capital Ltd have made it to the second-round of bidding for Iovate Health Sciences International Inc., a Canadian maker of nutrition and weight-loss products, Bloomberg yesterday reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

US private equity firm Kelso & Co. and Chinese conglomerate Xiwang Group Co., are also among bidders to have entered into the second-round bidding, the report said.

Iovate is seeking a buyer in a deal that could value the company at as much as $1 billion, the report added.

Ontario-based Iovate is a nutritional and weight management supplement company that provides active nutrition products through brands like MuscleTech, Six Star Pro Nutrition, Purely Inspired, and Hydroxycut.

It employs more than 250 people and also has more than 40 pending patent applications.

It has corporate partnerships with companies like Walmart, Walgreens, and Sam's Club.

A purchase of Iovate by a Chinese company would come nearly eight months after Chinese infant formula producer Biostime International Holdings agreed to buy controlling stake in Australian multivitamin maker Swisse Wellness Group Pty for A$1.3 billion ($956 million).