GlaxoSmithKline has reached agreement to divest a set of non-core over-the-counter brands in Europe to Belgium's Omega Pharma for £391 million in cash.
The products being divested include Lactacyd, Abtei, Solpadeine, Zantac, Nytol and Beconase and together generated sales of £185 million in 2011. Proceeds from the transaction are expected to be around £310 million and GSK noted that the cash will be returned to shareholders during 2012.
As part of the agreement, Omega will be acquiring a manufacturing site in Herrenberg Germany, which employs 110 people and makes a number of the brands being sold off. The news comes a couple of months after GSK divested a heap of OTC products in the USA and Canada to Prestige Brands Holdings for £426 million, bringing in proceeds of £242 million.
No Alli sale yet
GSK said it remains "in active discussions" in selling off OTC brands in other markets and the firm said it still continues to plan to divest the OTC weight loss drug Alli (orlistat). However, "pending the resolution of a temporary third party supply interruption", the process of selling off Alli has been delayed.
GSK's chief financial officer, Simon Dingemans said that "given the continued economic challenges across the eurozone, I am pleased that we have been able to transact these assets at a good price for GSK". He added that the objective of the divestments is to generate "attractive returns for shareholders as well as simplifying our ongoing consumer business and enabling it to focus on its priority brands and markets."