Blog: Takeover talk about Mead Johnson resurfaces - again
Dean Best | 16 March 2016
Shares in Mead Johnson jumped in the US yesterday after a fresh wave of takeover speculation about the US infant formula producer.
Mead Johnson's stock closed up over 11% in New York after a financial blog claimed the company was working with banking advisers following expressions of interest in the business.
The Betaville blog said the Enfamil maker was in contact with Lazard after Nestle and Danone had lodged interest in the company.
The blog also claimed Danone was set to work with JP Morgan and BNP Paribas on a bid for Mead Johnson.
When contacted by just-food this afternoon, a Mead Johnson spokesperson said: "As a matter of policy, we do not comment on marketplace speculation or rumour."
A spokesperson for Nestle said: "We never comment on market rumours or speculation."
Of course, this is not the first time Mead Johnson has been the subject of takeover talk and it is therefore easy to feel a little bit weary (and wary) when new claims come around.
There was a flurry of speculation linking Danone to Mead Johnson in the autumn of 2014. At the time, analyst reaction to the prospect of Danone buying Mead Johnson was mixed. Some industry watchers questioned whether Danone could afford Mead Johnson without a rights issue and suggested the group should instead invest in smaller transactions (which it has done subsequently).
Next week, Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber will be among the executives presenting at the Consumer Analyst Group Europe investment conference in London.
At last year's event, with the link to Mead Johnson fresh in the mind of many in the market, Faber did not comment directly on Mead Johnson but insisted Danone did not need to make a "transformative" acquisition "to be successful".
Has this stance changed?
Danone had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing.
However, Faber may provide some comment at next week's CAGE conference - to which you can register here.
Danone completed its US$12.5bn acquisition of WhiteWave Foods this week. The move will roughly double Danone's presence in North America, where WhiteWave is a top four dairy player. ...
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Hain Celestial, under the scrutiny of the investment community in recent months and facing some challenges in its domestic market, has announced another shuffling of its management pack....
FrieslandCampina, which today served up higher profits but lower sales for 2016, is ready to offload the last non-dairy business owned by the Dutch cooperative giant....
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