Swiss food group Nestle on Monday announced a deal to buy US drugmaker Pfizer's baby food business for $11.9 billion, beating out French rival Danone in the battle for dominance of fast-growing emerging markets.
The world's biggest food firm had to dig deeper than expected into its ample pockets to win the high-stakes fight for Pfizer Nutrition, which makes 85% of its sales in emerging markets.
"The price tag is high, however Nestle is securing a high growth/margin business with high exposure in the emerging markets," said Vontobel analyst Jean-Philippe Bertschy.Nestle said the deal would add to earnings per share from the first year, and would allow cost synergies of $160 million.
Nestle said the Pfizer business should boost its margins, bringing revenue from the combined business to above $7 billion.
"Pfizer Nutrition is an excellent strategic fit and this acquisition underlines our commitment to be the world's leading nutrition, health and wellness company," Nestle CEO Paul Bulcke said.