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Nestlé pays top price for Pfizer baby meals arm

  • @LauraHChesters

Nestlé has secured its place as the biggest player in the worldwide baby food market with a $11.9bn (£7.4bn) deal to buy the drug maker Pfizer's infant-nutrition business.

The deal enables Nestlé to regain a stronger footing in the Chinese baby food market. It had to withdraw two milk powder products from China in 2005 after a health scare.

The New Jersey-based Pfizer business, whose brands include SMA and Promil, makes more than 85 per cent of its sales in emerging markets. Nestlé will use this to bolster overseas growth. China alone makes up 23 per cent of the global baby food market.

Swiss-based Nestlé had been the target of a baby milk formula boycott when groups such as Save the Children claimed the promotion of formula had led to health problems.