Nestle, Danone make first-round bids for Pfizer's baby-formula unit, sources say; tax-free spinoff remains option for Pfizer

LOS ANGELES , January 13, 2012 () – According to people with knowledge of the matter, both Nestle SA and Danone SA made first-round bids for Pfizer Inc.’s baby-formula unit, Bloomberg reported Jan. 12.

The sources, which declined to be identified because the process is private, also said that a tax-free spinoff is still an option for Pfizer. Last September, sources said that the company had delayed sending out sales documents so it could examine whether that move would be the better choice for investors.

As of last June, Danone had US$3 billion in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments, but that’s dwarfed by Nestle’s $8.3 billion total.

Should Pfizer sell its infant-nutrition business, which has approximately $2 billion in sales in 2010, the company could then focus more on its medicine development. Pfizer has the Lipitor cholesterol pill among its other produced drugs.

The primary source of this article is Bloomberg, New York, New York, on Jan. 12, 2012.

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