Shaklee Corporation is an American manufacturer and distributor of natural nutrition supplements, weight-management products, beauty products, and household products. The company is based in Pleasanton, California with global operations in Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Taiwan, China and Indonesia. Forrest C. Shaklee created "Shaklees Vitalized Minerals" in 1915. In 1956, Shaklee founded the Shaklee Corporation with his two sons to manufacture nutritional supplements. Shaklee chose the multi-level marketing business model to market their product. Starting in 1960, Shaklee began marketing organic, biodegradable cleaning products. He continually emphasized "natural" and "environmentally friendly" in his marketing messages. Shaklee Corporation was a publicly traded company in the late 1970s and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The corporation began to diversify in November 1986 when it purchased the Bear Creek Corporation, a direct marketing company best known for its Harry and David Fruit-of-the-Month Club operation, from RJR Nabisco for $123 million. In February 1989 Shaklee sold its 78 percent interest in Shaklee Japan to the Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Company for $350 million, while maintaining its licensing agreement and continuing to collect royalty payments from the Japanese operations. Then in March 1989, Shaklee Corporation received an unsolicited acquisition proposal from a group led by Irwin L. Jacobs, the Minneapolis financier known also by his nickname "Irv the Liquidator". Analysts placed the leveraged buyout value of Shaklee at $35 a share. The Jacobs group had been aggressively accumulating Shaklee shares, and disclosed it currently held a 14.98 percent stake in the San Francisco-based company. Shaklee immediately declared a special dividend of $20 a share, seen as a poison pill—a way to discourage takeover interest in Shaklee, though the company disputed that view. Shaklees anti-takeover provisions came into play when an investor reached 15 percent. After a few tense weeks, during which time Jacobs increased his stake in Shaklee, Shaklee Corporation announced it was being acquired by Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical for $28 a share in cash, or about $395 million. Yamanouchis partnership with Shaklee in Japan helped make the transaction possible, and cast Yamanouchi as a "white knight" in helping Shaklee fend off the hostile takeover bid by Jacobs. Jacobs announced he would not challenge the Yamanouchi bid and the deal with Yamanouchi was quickly finalized. Shaklee became a privately held company.