FRANKFURT Feb 19 German diversified healthcare
group Fresenius is considering making a bid for the
medical nutrition unit of France's Danone in what
could be a 4 billion euro ($5.5 billion) deal, two people
familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The business, which Reuters reported last week could soon be
for sale as Danone expands its dairy business in higher-growth
emerging markets, would complement Fresenius's Kabi unit, which
makes tube feeding and intravenous feeding equipment and
products as well as generic infusion drugs.
For Fresenius it would be the third deal worth more than $1
billion over the last two years.
Fresenius in September agreed to buy most of
Rhoen-Klinikum's hospitals for 3.07 billion euros,
cementing the buyer's position as Germany's largest
private-sector hospitals operator.
Danone's Medical Nutrition business, which also makes
products like hypoallergenic baby food, could also attract
interest from peers such as Abbott, Nestle,
Baxter, sources have said.
JPMorgan has been asked to find a buyer for the
European market leader, which in 2012 posted sales of 1.3
billion euros and earnings before interest and taxes of 231
Fresenius and Danone declined to comment.
($1 = 0.7272 euros)
(Additional reporting by Sophie Sassard and Dominique Vidalon;
Writing by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Victoria Bryan)