Mead Johnson products

Consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser (RB) has been given the green light by regulators to complete the $17.9bn acquisition of baby formula firm Mead Johnson Nutrition.

The Nurofen, Strepsils, Durex and Dettol owner revealed back in February that it would buy the US baby milk maker for $90 per share in an all-cash cash, valuing Mead Johnson’s equity at $16.6bn, with another $1.3bn of net debt on top.

Reckitt said the acquisition would considerably strengthen its presence in developing markets, particularly China where Mead Johnson has sales of more than $1bn.

Cost savings from the combination are estimated to be £200m a year by the end of the third year.

Reckitt CEO Rakesh Kapoor said at the time: “The acquisition of Mead Johnson is a significant step forward in RB’s journey as a leader in consumer health.

“This is a natural extension to RB’s consumer health portfolio of powerbrands which are already trusted by millions of mothers, reinforcing the importance of health and hygiene for their families.

“Mead Johnson’s geographic footprint significantly strengthens our position in developing markets, which will account for approximately 40% of the combined group’s sales, with China becoming our second largest powermarket.”

The multinational also revealed in April that it was putting its food division, which includes French’s sauces and Frank’s Red Hot sauces, up for sale to help pay for the Mead transaction.

Reckitt Benckiser added today (12 June 2017) that final regulatory approval had been received for the acquisition, with completion expected to occur later this week on 15 June.