Pfizer completes $11.85bn sale of infant nutrition business to Nestle

US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) said it had completed the divestment of its infant nutrition business, Pfizer Nutrition, to Swiss food group Nestle SA (VTX:NESN) for USD11.85bn (EUR9.1bn) in cash.

The deal, which was agreed in April, has secured antitrust clearance in most of the markets, the vendor said. The regulatory approval process is still underway in Kenya, South Africa and five Latin American countries. In these markets Pfizer will continue to operate the business on an interim basis, it said, adding that with the completion of the sale, it would launch a new USD10bn share repurchase programme.

In a separate statement, Nestle stated that the deal, which would add some 4,500 Pfizer Nutrition employees, would bolster its infant nutrition business in key segments and geographies. It has previously said that it would cover a portion of the purchase price with a 364-day bridge loan worth USD8.5bn from a syndicate of banks.

Concerning the countries where the regulatory process has not finished yet, the buyer will continue exploring strategic options, it noted.

Pfizer took counsel from Morgan Stanley & Co LLC, Centerview Advisors LLC, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Clifford Chance LLP and DLA Piper LLP on the deal.