Numico, Europe’s top manufacturer of infant milks, formulas and weaning foods, has announced the acquisition of Asian baby food company EAC Nutrition.

At a total cost of EUR€1.2bn (US$1.47bn), the acquisition was funded through the equity offering which raised €550m in November 2005, a US private placement of €168m that was completed in December 2005, and a bank loan that will provide the remaining €482m. It is anticipated that the acquisition will be earnings neutral by the end of this year and profit-making from then onwards.

The purchase of EAC Nutrition makes Numico the market leader in the rapidly expanding Asian infant nutrition market.

EAC Nutrition will be managed as a separate division within Numico under the leadership of EAC’s former CEO Mark Wilson.