Nestlé has acquired the entire medical nutrition business of pharmaceutical company Novartis for $2.5bn (£1.3bn).

The business, which supplies oral and enteral nutrition and medical devices used to provide nutrients to patients with special medical conditions, operates in more than 40 countries and has around 2,000 employees.

“This is a very important step for Nestlé in its strategic transformation process to a nutrition, health and wellness company as it strengthens the core of our globally managed Nestlé Nutrition business,” said Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman and CEO of Nestlé.