|Traded as||NYSE: MJN
S&P 500 Component
(Global Operations Center)
|Key people||James M. Cornelius
Chairman of the Board
President and Chief Executive Officer
|Website||Mead Johnson Nutrition|
Mead Johnson Nutrition Company is a major manufacturer of infant formula both domestically and globally with its flagship product Enfamil. The company dates back to a firm created by Edward Mead Johnson, one of the co-founders of Johnson & Johnson, who created his own business in 1895, which was renamed Mead Johnson & Company in 1905. The company was majority owned by Bristol-Myers Squibb after an acquisition in 1967, but was spun off in 2009 as an independent firm.
The company had global sales of $2.83 billion in 2009, with two-thirds of its revenue coming from outside the United States, where declining birth rates have led to a reduced market share. The company is gaining a presence in such emerging markets as the People's Republic of China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam and is also starting to develop a presence in India. Enfamil, the company's flagship brand, commanded 11.7% of the $22.3 billion market for infant formula worldwide in 2008.
History and products
Edward Mead Johnson had founded Johnson & Johnson in 1886 together with his brothers. In 1895, Johnson developed a side business called The American Ferment Company to create a digestive aid. In 1897, E. Mead Johnson left the family business to go out into business on his own in Jersey City, New Jersey, and in 1905, the company was re-established as Mead Johnson & Company. The firm's first major infant formula was developed in 1910, and Dextri-Maltose, a carbohydrate-based milk modifier was introduced in 1911, making it the first American product for infants to be clinically approved and recommended by doctors. The firm moved to Evansville, Indiana, in 1915, in the wake of World War I, as part of an effort to have easier access to the raw agricultural ingredients that were needed for its products, which required Johnson to build a series of new plants and factories to replace the ones he had left behind in New Jersey.
C. Joseph Genster was the group director for nutritional specialties, which launched the Metrecal protein-based liquid diet product for adults in September 1959. Originally the product came as a powder which was mixed with water and contained powdered skim milk, soybean flour and corn oil and was fortified with vitamins and minerals, a formula that included more protein than other diet products. The Metrecal diet plan had people consume four self-prepared shakes (or portion-controlled cans) of Metrecal a day, with each can providing 225 calories. The 900-calorie-a-day diet helped many lose weight and the product became a diet craze in the early 1960s in the U.S. By the mid-1970s the Metrecal fad had faded and a Food and Drug Administration call to remove liquid protein-based products from store shelves put an end to the phenomenon.
Lambert Mead succeeded his father as president following his death and served in the position until 1955, making him the longest-serving president in company history. D. Mead Johnson was the third generation of the family to serve as chief executive of the firm. During his tenure, which lasted from 1955 until the firm's takover by Bristol-Myers in 1968, the firm's annual sales tripled to $131 million and grew to nearly 4,400 employees.
Acquisition and spin-off from Bristol-Myers
Bristol-Myers reached agreement in August 1967 for a deal under which Mead Johnson would be acquired, with shareholders receiving a mix of common and preferred stock in a deal valued at $240 million. Mead Johnson's net sales in 1966 were $131 million with earnings of $7.3 million.
Bristol-Myers announced in February 2009 that it was going to spin off Mead Johnson to focus on its primary pharmaceutics business, with an initial public offering estimated to bring in $562.5 million and would leave Bristol-Myers with 90% ownership of the firm. A plan offered in November 2009 would allow shareholders of Bristol-Myers to exchange one dollar of stock in that company for $1.11 worth of shares in Mead Johnson for the 133.5 million shares in the firm, which would value the company at $7.7 billion based on the stock's then current closing price. The stock swap was intended to provide a tax-free exchange. CEO James M. Cornelius of Bristol-Myers said that "With a successful execution of this split-off, we fully consider ourselves a BioPharma company".
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- Our History, Mead Johnson & Company. Accessed September 1, 2010.
- Martin, Douglas. "C. Joseph Genster, Marketer of Metrecal, Dies at 92", The New York Times, August 26, 2010. Accessed September 1, 2010.
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- Staff. "AMERICANA: The Theory of Weightlessness", Time (magazine), November 21, 1960. Accessed August 31, 2010.
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- Saxon, Wolfgang. "D. M. Johnson, 78; Led Mead Johnson In Rapid Expansion", The New York Times, January 23, 1993. Accessed September 1, 2010.
- Reckert, Clare M. "Exchange of Stock Set; MERGER DEAL SET BY BRISTOL-MYERS", The New York Times, August 25, 1967. Accessed September 1, 2010.
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- Staff. "Bristol-Myers to Split Off Mead Johnson Nutrition", The New York Times, November 16, 2009. Accessed September 1, 2010.