Fresenius, Permira in bid for Danone medical unit-WSJ

(Reuters) – The German healthcare group Fresenius and the Permira investment fund have made a joint offer for the medical nutrition arm of Danone, The Wall Street Journal said, citing sources close to the matter.

The joint offer, whose price was not disclosed, is for now the only one on the table with a deadline for any other parties to make offers early next week, the newspaper said.

Danone, Permira and Fresenius declined comment on Thursday.

Reuters first reported in February that Danone was looking to sell its medical nutrition business, worth between 4 billion euros and 7 billion euros, depending on how much they sell, according to analysts.

Fresenius, together with private equity funds PAI and Permira, were the last bidders left in a race that had included Hospira and Nestle, several sources familiar with the matter had told Reuters last month.

According to WSJ sources, the private equity fund CVC has also expressed an interest.

Danone has been in discussions since March with prospective buyers for its medical nutrition unit but negotiations have not concluded due to differences over price and possible competition issues.