StockMarketWire.com - Consumer goods group Reckitt Benckiser said it had agreed to sell its infant formula business in China to Primavera Capital for $2.2 billion including debt.

Reckitt said it would retain an 8% shareholding in the business and expected net cash proceeds of around $1.3 billion, which it would use to cut debt.

The deal came in the wake of a strategic review of the infant formula business announced in February.

Reckitt would continue to own the Mead Johnson and Enfa family of brands globally and would operate those brands in the rest of the world.

It added that it expected to incur tax costs of around £300 million and transaction and other costs of around £200 million.

The expected debt reduction from the deal would have lowered the company's December 2020 net debt to adjusted earnings ratio by around 0.2 time to 2.2 times.

'Today's announcement marks another step in our strategy to rejuvenate growth and create long term value,' chief executive Laxman Narasimhan said.

'As part of this journey, we are actively, and decisively, managing our portfolio.'

'As a result of this transaction, our nutrition business going forward will have a better and more consistent growth and margin profile.'

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