Nestle nears deal to buy Ralston Purina

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Nestle S.A. is said to be in talks to acquire pet food marketer Ralston Purina Co. for about $10 billion in cash. The acquisition, widely expected to be announced Jan. 16, would nearly double Nestle's pet food sales and help it rival category leader Mars Inc. Ralston has a 27% share of the dog food category and 33% of cat food compared with Nestle's share of 12% and 13%, respectively.

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