Nestlé sweetens chronic disease division with $1.4B Prometheus buyout

Anxious to build up a new healthcare division which promises to meld diagnostics, pharma and nutrition into a new profit center, Nestlé has acquired San Diego-based Prometheus Laboratories, a diagnostics company, for a price estimated by one analyst at more than $1.4 billion.

The buyout is all part of Nestlé's plans to develop "personalized nutrition strategies that will help in the management and prevention of chronic health conditions." That same strategy prompted Nestlé to buy Vitaflo, which works on metabolic disease treatments, as well as CM&D, which is active in IBD and cancer.

"We see that acquisition as a decisive step for Nestlé," noted Jean-Philippe Bertschy, an analyst at Bank Vontobel.

"This acquisition is a strategic move into gastrointestinal diagnostics," says Luis Cantarell, CEO of Nestlé Health Science. "Prometheus's leading edge diagnostics and highly experienced medical sales representatives together constitute a robust platform for Nestlé Health Science to accelerate its current and future healthcare business. It will enable new personalized healthcare solutions based on diagnostics, pharma and nutrition."

- see the Nestlé release
- read the story from the New York Times