The Procter & Gamble Co. is zeroing in on its core businesses.

The consumer products giant has agreed to sell the bulk of its pet food business to Mars Inc.

Under the terms of the deal, Mars will buy the Iams, Eukanuba and Natura brands in major markets for $2.9 billion in cash. The companies expect to complete the deal in the second-half of 2014, subject to regulatory approvals.

P&G’s chairman, president and chief executive officer A.G. Lafley stated, “Exiting Pet Care is an important step in our strategy to focus P&G’s portfolio on the core businesses where we can create the most value for consumers and shareowners. The transaction creates value for P&G shareowners, and we are confident that the business will thrive at Mars, a leading company in pet care.”

The geographic regions included in the acquisition, which account for about 80 percent of P&G Pet Care’s global sales, include North America, Latin America and other selected countries. The agreement includes an option for Mars to acquire the business in several additional countries. Markets not included in the transaction are primarily European Union countries. P&G said it is developing alternate plans to sell its Pet Care business in these markets.

P&G plans to begin reporting its global Pet Care business as discontinued operations as of the April through June 2014 quarter.

P&G said that net cash proceeds from the transaction would be used for general corporate purposes.

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