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Nestle to Acquire Pfizer Baby Food Unit for $11.9 Billion

Nestle SA, the world’s biggest food company, agreed to buy Pfizer Inc.’s infant-nutrition unit for $11.9 billion, edging out Danone in a contest for a business that gets most of its sales in fast-growing emerging markets.

The purchase, Nestle’s biggest since it bought pet-food maker Ralston Purina Co. in 2001, will lead to annual cost benefits of $160 million and will boost earnings per share in the first full year, Chief Executive Officer Paul Bulcke said today on a conference call. The unit will increase Nestle’s annual sales of infant formula to $7 billion from $5 billion.