Ralston Shareholders Vote to Approve Proposed Acquisition by Nestlé

   
To Press Releases listVevey,May 21, 2001

Ralston shareholders voted today in St. Louis to approve the proposed acquisition of Ralston Purina by Nestlé.

The acquisition, subject to regulatory review, also required approval by two-thirds of Ralston Purina’s common stock shareholders. Mr. Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, CEO of Nestlé responded to the vote: “We are pleased that the Ralston shareholders have approved this acquisition. Upon completion of the transaction, which is on track to close by the end of the year, we look forward to welcoming Ralston to the Nestlé family and joining Ralston Purina in St. Louis.” Nestlé S.A. and Ralston Purina Company announced January 16, 2001 that they had entered into a definitive merger agreement.

The new organization, to be called Nestlé Purina Pet Care Company, will be based in St. Louis, Missouri, Ralston’s current headquarters. “The natural fit between the two companies drives tremendous benefits for the consumer in innovation, more consumer choice and stronger competition in this growing industry,” said Mr. Brabeck.