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Pfizer mulls options for OTC unit
Posted on Wednesday, 11 October 2017 13:34
The media is already lining up potential suitors for Pfizer’s consumer healthcare operations, despite the US pharmaceutical titan remaining vague on a likely outcome of a strategic review for the business known for its Centrum and Advil brands.

Options on the table range from a sale to a potential spin-off of the over-the-counter (OTC) products maker billed as one of the world’s largest with 2016 revenues of roughly USD 3.40 billion and operations in 90 countries, globally.

The business develops and markets non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and personal items under brands such as Thermacare, Preparation H, Robitussin, ChapStick and Anbesok.

Pfizer is remaining deliberately vague on which side of the fence it comes down on in terms of whether it would prefer a divestment or a spin-off of the division which Bloomberg values between USD 13.00 billion and USD 17.00 billion.

This estimation is in line with that of industry experts, who told Reuters the business could be worth four times 2016 revenue, or just shy of USD 14.00 billion, though the news provider added it could fetch at least USD 15.00 billion.

According to the media, suitors such as private equity houses could rub shoulders with established consumer healthcare giants like Reckitt Benckiser, Procter & Gamble and GlaxoSmithKline.

Reuters noted Nestlé of Switzerland could set its cap at the operations in order to make the jump between food and healthcare.

The news provider added a full-blown divestment would represent one of Pfizer’s biggest corporate decisions since ditching a tie-up with Allergan last year.

However, this would not be the first time the US giant decided to sell off its consumer healthcare business; in 2006 it unloaded its OTC medicine division to Johnson & Johnson for USD 16.60 billion in cash.

Pfizer is also not the only one looking into options for its non-prescription operations as Merck of Germany announced at the beginning of this week it is considering a full or partial sale or strategic partnerships for its own unit.

© Zephus Ltd