The UK company behind Dettol and Durex is in talks to buy a US baby milk maker for £13 billion

Reckitt Benckiser Chief Executive Rakesh Kapoor.Reckitt Benckiser Chief Executive Rakesh Kapoor.Reckitt Benckiser PA Archive/PA Images

LONDON — FTSE 100 consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser is in “advanced” talks to acquire US baby milk and nutrition group Mead Johnson for $16.7 billion (£13.1 billion).

Reckitt Benckiser, which makes everything from face scrub to floor cleaner, confirmed the talks in a brief statement to the market on Thursday morning, saying it is preparing to pay $90 per share for Mead Johnson.

The company said that the pair are currently going through contract discussions and due diligence and there is no certainty that a deal might go through. If it does complete, Reckitt Benckiser will finance the deal through cash and debt.

Slough-headquartered Reckitt Benckiser is known for consumer brands such as Durex condoms, disinfectant Dettol, Nurofen painkiller, and toilet cleaner Harpic.

Illinois-based Mead Johnson makes baby milk and baby food under the Enfamil, Lactum, and Sustagen brands. Shares in the New York Stock Exchange-listed business jumped 23.7% in after-hours trade after Mead confirmed the talks, to $86 per share.

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