Wockhardt completes divestment of nutrition business to Danone

Wockhardt Ltd has completed the divestment of its nutrition business to French dairy major Groupe Danone in a Rs1,280-crore transaction. 

Wockhardt had, in August 2011, entered into an agreement with Danone for divestment of its nutrition business, then valued at Rs1,576 crore then (See: One to buy Wockhardt's nutrition business for Rs1,576 crore).

Danone has also acquired Wockhardt's wholly-owned subsidiary, in a move designed to enter the Indian baby food and nutraceuticals market.
Under the deal, Danone will get Wockhardt's baby food brands, including Dexolac, Farex, Nusobee and Protinex and its related infrastructure.

Wockhardt operates a subsidiary, Carol Info Service, in Punjab, to manufacture these products.

Carol Info Services Limited provides contract manufacturing service for nutraceutical and milk-based products. Besides primary activity of contract manufacturing, it also undertakes renting of immovable property (not used for its own activities).

Wockhardt had acquired the Farex and Protinex brands of Dumex India from Royal Numico NV of the Netherlands, in 2006.

The acquisition of the baby foods nutritional supplement brand Protinex will give Danone, a maker of the Bledina brand of baby foods, access to Wockhardt's countrywide distribution network as well.

Wockhardt had, in 2009, agreed to sell the nutrition business to global healthcare major Abbott Laboratories for Rs625-crore, but the deal had to be aborted after a group of investors holding 40-per cent of Wockhardt's foreign currency convertible bonds moved the Bombay High Court against the deal and the court granted a permanent injunction on the sale (See: Wockhardt deal with Abbott falls through as foreign investors cry foul).