Reckitt Benckiser Group is in advanced talks to buy Mead Johnson Nutrition in a $16.7 billion deal that would take the British consumer goods maker into the baby formula market and boost its business outside Europe. Bobbi Rebell reports.
A British maker of Durex condoms, Nurofen tablets, and Scholl footcare products - Reckitt Benckiser - is in advanced talks to buy an American producer of baby food - Mead Johnson - in a $16.7 billion deal. For Reckitt, the deal would be a way to get into the baby formula market and out of the UK, as it considers its options following the country's vote to leave the European Union. Mead has big presence in China and Latin America, regions with fast-growing populations, as well as in the United States. Bernstein analysts see the deal boosting Reckitt's earnings by 12 percent in 2018. They say, the move from "health and hygiene" into "infant nutrition" is not a big leap. New York-traded Mead shares skyrocketed on the news. London-based Reckitt stock also traded up.