Reckitt gulps US baby food firm Mead Johnson

London: British consumer health giant Reckitt Benckiser, which makes Durex condoms and Nurofen painkillers, said on Friday it has agreed to buy US infant and child nutrition specialist Mead Johnson for $16.6 billion.
The friendly takeover, worth the equivalent of 15.5 billion euros, was pitched at $90 per share and will “significantly strengthen” the group’s presence in developing markets like China, Reckitt said in a statement.
Including debt, the deal values the Illinois-based firm at $17.9 billion.
“The acquisition of Mead Johnson is a significant step forward in Reckitt Benckiser’s journey as a leader in consumer health,” said chief executive Rakesh Kapoor.
He described Mead Johnson’s “Enfa” baby food brands as “a natural extension” to Reckitt Benckiser’s consumer health portfolio.
The transaction would also strengthen the British group’s position in developing markets — which will account for approximately 40 per cent of the combined group’s sales. — AFP