* Deal could be worth more than $9 bln - WSJ
* Bankers had seen Nestle as frontrunner over Danone/Mead
* Pfizer hires JPM, BofA, MS for animal health IPO -source
April 17 Pfizer Inc is near a deal to
sell its baby formula business to Swiss food giant Nestle SA
for at least $9 billion, the Wall Street Journal
reported on Tuesday.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the Journal said
Nestle appears to have outstripped Danone and Mead
Johnson Nutrition Co, who had teamed up for a bid, and
that a deal could be announced as soon as next week.
Nestle, the world's biggest packaged food company, was
already seen as a favored bidder due largely to its deep
Bloomberg reported that Danone and Nestle both submitted
final offers of about $10 billion for the business, citing
people with knowledge of the matter.
According to that report, Danone has told outsiders that it
is unlikley to win the unit, but that Pfizer is trying to keep
them in the auction, one of the people said. Bloomberg said a
third bidder is no longer in the running.
Separately, Pfizer has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co,
Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley
for a potential initial public offering of its animal health
business, a source familiar with the situation said.
Pfizer put its infant nutrition and animal health businesses
up for sale last July as it looks to focus on its core
A company official said on Tuesday that no decisions have
been made and that Pfizer will be in a position to announce any
decisions this year. The company expects to complete any
transactions between July of this year and July 2013.
Regarding the animal health business, the official said a
spin-off was most likely.
A Nestle spokesman was not immediately available for
A person familiar with the negotiations said a deal for the
infant nutrition unit was expected "in the near future," but not
Pfizer's infant nutrition business sells baby formula and
maternal supplements. It generates over 70 percent of its $2.1
billion in sales in emerging markets, with over a quarter coming
from China, where the $6 billion market is expected to double by
The Pfizer business competes with products from Nestle and
Danone, as well as Mead Johnson's Enfamil and Abbott
Pfizer shares closed 1.5 percent higher on Tuesday.