Potential sale of health and hygiene giant’s Chinese infant nutrition arm

Private equity investor Carlyle is reported to be lining up to try and buy Hull-based Reckitt Benckiser’s (RB) infant nutrition arm in China.

It is among a number of parties said to be preparing to table offers for the Greater China unit of Mead Johnson.

Sky News has this afternoon said that Yili, one of the biggest existing players in the country’s infant nutrition market, is also expected to make a bid, along with other financial and strategic bidders.
It says the unit’s sale is expected to fetch up to $2bn (£1.4bn).

Under former chief executive Rakesh Kapoor, RB paid nearly $18bn for Mead Johnson in early 2017.

His successor, Laxman Narasimhan, told investors in February that he was launching a review of the Mead Johnson business in China because of “continually evolving…markets for infant formula”.

The Greater China infant formula business accounts for about 6% of RB’s total group revenues.