Perrigo buys OTC products from GSK

In an all-cash move with no financial details disclosed Perrigo is buying a portfolio of leading over-the-counter products from GlaxoSmithKline.

The Irish firm that bought OTC specialists Omega not to long ago for $4.5 billion, is seemingly strengthening its position in Europe with the bolt-on acquisition –whilst also enduring a three-way takeover process.

The consumer healthcare division of GSK has to offload the OTC products under the terms of the European Commission’s approval of its consumer health joint venture with Novartis.

Perrigo will now have the rights to the nicotine replacement therapies of both GSK and Novartis – NiQuitin and Nicotinell. It will also market Novartis’s cold sore management products in Europe and cold and flu, and pain relief products.

Perrigo chairman, president and chief executive Joseph Papa says: “This acquisition demonstrates Perrigo’s ability to execute on our ‘Base Plus Plus Plus’ strategy, in which we make selective, accretive transactions to expand our durable base business.

“We are building on the global platform we established with the Omega Pharma acquisition to capture an even greater share of the $30 billion European OTC market opportunity with several well-established, complementary brands that bolster our OTC product portfolio.”

The consumer health treatments saw sales of a combined $110 million in 2014, and Perrigo will be looking for bigger numbers from them in order to bolster this year’s earnings when the deal is signed-off.

In April US speciality generics firm Mylan tried to buy out Perrigo for $28 billion in one of many offers, as the company itself wades through protracted takeover attempts by Israeli giant Teva.

On the current OTC swap Papa adds: “We are committed to making investments in these brands to grow their market positions in key geographies, by following Omega Pharma’s proven approach to brand building.”

The deal is expected to close during the third financial quarter of this year.

Brett Wells

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