Danone has made an intended offer worth E12.3bn (£8.3bn) for Numico, the company behind baby food brand Cow & Gate.

The E55 (£37) a share deal is a 44% premium on Numico's average closing price over the past three months and will be unanimously recommended by Numico's board of directors, Danone said.

“The combination of the two groups will create a unique food company - the one with the clearest and most powerful health positioning in the world,” added Franck Riboud, chairman and CEO of Danone. “With this project, we are designing a new Groupe Danone, enhancing dramatically its growth profile and its growth potential for the years to come."