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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: The world’s biggest group, Nestlé of Switzerland, is buying the Gerber baby food company. The price: $5.5 billion. This deal will give Nestlé almost 80 percent of the U.S. baby food market. From the European Desk in London, Stephen Beard reports.
STEPHEN BEARD: The deal is between two Swiss companies. Nestlé is buying Gerber from the Swiss-based drugmaker Novartis.
Nestlé has been pursuing the Gerber brand with the picture of a cherubic baby on its labels for some time.
Analysts say the new parent has every reason to be proud. Gerber will be a welcome addition to the Nestlé family of healthier food products.
John Cox of Kepler Equities says nutritious baby food is a growth business in every sense.
JOHN COX: If you look at the overall food market that’s growing at maybe 1, 2, 3 percent, whereas nutrition is growing at the double-digit level.
To help finance its push into healthier more nutritious foods, Nestlé has sold off coffee and cocoa processing companies.
In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.
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