Les echos
Jul 28, 2009
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At least two candidates for Procter & Gamble’s pharmaceutical branch

Les echos
Jul 28, 2009

Procter & Gamble has found clients for the sale of its pharmaceutical brand. Investment group Cerberus Capital Management and pharmaceutical laboratory Warner Chilcott and “at least one other” company would be interested, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Procter & Gamble

The three companies concerned will have held discussions with the American manufacturer of mass consumer products. The transaction could reach $3 billion and be finalised befor the end of the summer, the newspaper added.

Warner Chilcott is a laboratory which specialises in dermatology and feminine health, particularly known for its contraceptive pills. Its turnover could triple with an acquisition such as this one.

Cerberus Capital, which carried out the ephemeral takeover of the Chrysler group, is for its part offering autonomy to the laboratory, which markets the anti-osteoporosis medicine Actonel, anti-incontinence product Enablex as well as Asacol, a treatment to counter gastrointestinal problems. The investment fund will have been in contact with the bank in order to finance this project.

Pharmaceutical activities of the Cincinnati based group saw an operational profit of around $800 million, largely supported by the commercial success of Actonel which totaled $2 billion in annual sales.

The manufacturer of Head & Shoulders shampoo, Gillette razors, Pampers nappies and Duracell batteries wanted to diversify its pharmaceutical capabilities around ten years ago, but it failed in a takeover attempt of the laboratories of Warner-Lambert and American Home Products in 2000.

The American firm decided, in December 2008, to refocus on its over-the-counter products, judging them to be more profitable. Investment in the medicinal branch has been stopped and Goldman Sachs has been given a mandate for the sale of the division.

By Jonathan Fulwell (Source: Les Echos)

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