MNI first introduced liquid protein supplements for the elderly in the United States in 2003, and the company still provides protein supplementation among other products to the US market. Meanwhile Danone has been more active in pediatric medical nutrition in North America – combining it with medical nutrition for the elderly is intended to make the most of the two companies’ complementary competencies and product lines, the company said.
President of Medical Nutrition for Danone, Flemming Morgan, said: “Because MNI's competencies and successful product lines are so complementary to ours, the combination of the two businesses will reinforce Danone's leadership in Advanced Medical Nutrition, and allow us to expand our reach and benefit the quality of life of more patients, particularly in the US."
The business will become part of Danone's Medical Nutrition division, Nutricia North America, which is headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. The division’s sales were $70 million in 2009, while MNI’s sales reached $16m for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2010.
MNI chairman and CEO Frank Newman said: “The merger is a wonderful opportunity for MNI customers, employees and shareholders alike. The combination of Danone’s global reach and research in pediatric medical nutrition with MNI’s product leadership in nutrition medicine for the elderly in the US represents a formidable coupling of complementary strengths that will benefit our customers and employees.”
Communications director for Danone’s medical nutrition division William Green told NutraIngredients-USA.com: “Most of our present US customers are in pediatrics or metabolics…Our medical nutrition business in Europe goes across all age groups…Medical nutrition is very high value and of course does a lot of good. We are strong in how we reach out to patients and to the medical community. The more muscle you can bring to it the more good you can do, and MNI is already a strong business.”