(Corrects company name in 2nd paragraph to Danone, from Nestle)
* Other candidates include Fresenius, EQT fund, unamed
company -Les Echos
* Nestle, Fresenius decline comment
* Danone has kept silent on plans for Medical Nutrition unit
PARIS, March 20 Swiss food giant Nestle
and diversified German healthcare group Fresenius
are among the four groups that have shown interest in
buying the Medical Nutrition unit of France's Danone,
daily Les Echos said on Thursday.
Reuters reported last month that Danone, the world's biggest
yoghurt maker, was considering selling the unit, a maker of
feeding tubes and other products that has been under pressure
from declining healthcare budgets in Europe.
Danone, which could use the cash to expand its dairy and
baby food businesses in higher-growth emerging markets, has,
however, kept silent over its plans for the unit.
"According to several sources, four candidates have shown
interest in buying the division that the French group is
selling," Les Echos said, without identifying its sources.
Other candidates included Nordic investment fund EQT and a
fourth unnamed company, Les Echos said, without providing
Both Nestle and Fresenius declined to comment on the report
while Danone and EQT could not be immediately reached for
Two people familiar with the matter told Reuters last month
that Fresenius was considering making a bid for the unit in what
could be a 4 billion-euro deal
Sources had also told Reuters the business could attract
interest from peers such as Abbott, Nestle and Baxter
and that bids were due in early March.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, additional reporting Matinne
Geller,; editing by Andrew Roche and Bernard Orr)