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Report: Mead Johnson parent seeking buyer

March 18, 2008

Evansville-based Mead Johnson Nutritionals could get a new owner if parent Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. succeeds in finding a buyer.

The Financial Times reported Sunday that Bristol-Myers is "quietly sounding out potential bidders" for the baby formula maker. Mead Johnson's value is estimated at $7 billion to $9 billion.

Quoting unnamed sources familiar with the discussions, the newspaper said New York-based Bristol-Myers has talked to PepsiCo., Danone, Nestle and H.J. Heinz. Johnson & Johnson and Novartis also have been approached.

Mead Johnson has 5,000 workers globally and generated $2.6 billion in sales last year, according to its Web site. Its dominant brand is Enfamil.

Bristol-Myer CEO Jim Cornelius is the former chairman of Guidant Corp. Guidant was an Indianapolis-based maker of heart defibrillators and other medical devices that was acquired in 2006 by Massachusetts-based Boston Scientific Corp. for $27 billion.

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