Nestle, the world’s biggest food group, is closing in on a deal to buy Pfizer’s infant nutrition business for up to $10 billion to boost its business in China and extend its lead in the world of formula milk for babies, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
“Nestle is in the lead position and is closing in on a deal which we expect soon,” said one source.
Another source said the business would fetch $9-$10 billion and expected a deal by the end of the April.
If Danone loses out, analysts say the French group will face a problem of how to expand, with its Chief Executive Franck Riboud saying it did not have the firepower to mount big deals which would seem to rule out an eventual move for Mead Johnson.
The Pfizer unit is a high-growth $2.1 billion turnover business with over 70 percent of sales…
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