Europe

Reckitt Benckiser to acquire Mead Johnson for $16.6 billion

British household products company Reckitt Benckiser is acquiring U.S. baby formula maker Mead Johnson for $16.6 billion in a move that will help the company grow in China.

Reckitt Benckiser, which makes products ranging from condoms to Lysol, offered $90 for each Mead Johnson share, or about $16.6 billion. That's a 29 percent premium from Mead Johnson's closing stock price on Feb. 1 — before word of the deal began to be discussed publicly.

The total value of the transaction is $17.9 billion including Mead Johnson's net debt.

Mead Johnson, based in Glenview, Illinois, makes Enfamil infant formula and other nutritional drinks for infants and children.

Reckitt CEO Rakesh Kapoor says the deal strengthens its position in "developing markets," with China "becoming our second largest Powermarket."