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Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of everything from Durex condoms to French’s mustard sauce, has started a “strategic review” of its non-core food business.

On Monday, Reckitt issued a statement in response to press reports, saying its French’s food brand, which also includes Frank’s Red Hot sauces, was a “truly fantastic business with great brands, people and a history of outperformance”.

“It is nevertheless non-core to RB. We have therefore decided to initiate a strategic review of Food where we will explore all options for this great business”, said the FTSE 100 company.

The Sunday Times reported that the company was mulling the disposal, worth £2bn, which could help reduce its debt after a $17.9bn deal to takeover baby milk manufacturer Mead Johnson.

The deal, agreed in February, will put RB in direct competition with Nestlé and Danone, the leaders in infant nutrition.

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