Swiss food group Nestle said on Monday it would buy U.S. drugmaker Pfizer's infant nutrition business for $11.85 billion (7.35 billion pounds), beating out French rival Danone as both sought to gain preeminence in the lucrative baby food market.

Its strong brands and product portfolio, its talented people dedicated to the success of its business, together with its geographic presence - 85 percent of its sales are in emerging markets - will complement our existing infant nutrition business perfectly, Nestle Chief Executive Paul Bulcke said.

(Reporting by Martin de Sa'Pinto)