Dutch group’s baby food sale is a prod for Danone

The Danone logo is pictured on a yogurt bottle in Mexico City, Mexico, October 14, 2020. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

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LONDON, Dec 22 (Reuters Breakingviews) – A Dutch dairy cooperative may offer French food group Danone (DANO.PA) a fresh formula. FrieslandCampina plans to kick off the sale of its Friso infant nutrition brand in the coming weeks, Reuters reported read more , worth up to $2.5 billion. FrieslandCampina said in its half-year report that revenue at its specialised nutrition unit, which includes Friso, decreased by 15% to 516 million euros, with operating profit down 84% year-on-year.

Just like for Danone, whose new Chief Executive Antoine de Saint-Affrique read more will outline his strategy next year, the baby milk business has been hammered by increased competition in China as well as the border closure between Hong Kong and the mainland due to the pandemic. Reckitt Benckiser (RKT.L) sold its infant nutrition unit in China for $2.2 billion earlier this year . One argument against selling baby milk is that the business has some synergies with other specialised nutrition products, like hospital food. If that didn’t stop FrieslandCampina, de Saint-Affrique may feel more pressure. (By Dasha Afanasieva)

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Editing by Neil Unmack and Oliver Taslic

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