Reckitt will pay $90 a share for the Glenview, Ill.-based maker of infant formula, the company said in a statement, valuing Mead Johnson at $16.6 billion. Reckitt said the total value of the transaction, including debt, will be $17.9 billion. The bid price represents an 8.37% premium to Mead's Thursday closing price in New York, but is unchanged from the Feb. 2 price first floated by Reckitt, which was a 30% premium at the time it was announced.
"The acquisition of Mead Johnson is a significant step forward in RB's journey as a leader in consumer health. With the Enfa family of brands, the world's leading franchise in infant and children's nutrition, we will provide families with vital nutritional support. This is a natural extension to RB's consumer health portfolio of Powerbrands which are already trusted by millions of mothers, reinforcing the importance of health and hygiene for their families."
Reckitt said it expects to have the deal closed by the end of the third quarter of this year and that it will be "accretive to adjusted diluted EPS in the first full year and double-digit accretive by year 3," according to its statement. It also said that its return on capital will exceed its capital costs by year five.
Reckitt said it had "committed" debt financing in place and that it expects to maintain a strong investment grade credit rating. Last week, Moody's Investors Service put Reckitt's A1/P-1 credit rating on review for a potential downgrade, citing the risk of a "significant deterioration" in the company's credit metrics.
"In addition, the execution risk will increase as RB will need to address Mead Johnson's low organic growth particularly in the US and China," Moody's said.
Mead Johnson holds the third-largest share of the global infant formula market, according to Euromonitor data, with a 10% slice that sits behind Nestle (NSRGY) and Groupe Danone (DANOY) (22% and 12% respectively). However, Mead has struggled with negative organic growth in the past two years, with its core Enfamil brand losing share in the United States and regulation and demographics slowing growth in China.
But, the infant formula market remains a key growth area.
The global infant formula market was expected to reach $24.5 billion in sales last year, up 9.3% from 2015, according to Future Market Insights. FMI estimates that the global infant formula market will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 10.1% through 2026, and surpass $64 billion in sales.
Mead shares closed at $83.05 each in New York Thursday after falling 1.08% on the session. The stock has risen 19.5% since the first Reckitt approach on Feb. 2.
Reckitt shares ended the Thursday session in London little changed at 7,239.75 and have gained around 6% since the first bid approach.