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Reckitt Targets Mead Johnson With Surprise $16.7 Billion Bid

  • $90-a-share offer represents 29 percent premium for shares
  • Durex maker’s advance follows years of takeout speculation
Updated on

Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc emerged as a surprise suitor for perennial bid candidate Mead Johnson Nutrition Co., starting talks on a $16.7 billion purchase of the baby food maker to build its faster growing consumer-health business and bolster its presence in Asia.

The maker of Lysol cleaners said late Wednesday it’s in advanced negotiations to acquire the U.S. company for $90 a share in cash in what would be the second-biggest acquisition by a U.K. company since the Brexit vote. Mead Johnson soared as much as 26 percent to $87.25 in early trading in the U.S., while Reckitt Benckiser shares rose as much as 5.3 percent in London.