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Briggs Healthcare to make major push behind DME brand HealthSmart

BY Michael Johnsen

WAUKEGAN, Ill. — Briggs Healthcare, a supplier to the hospital, pharmaceutical/DME and retail markets for 65 years, on Monday announced it is aligning its brands under the HealthSmart name as of summer 2014. The brand will be supported by a new website for wholesale and retail customers and, in collaboration with its retail partners, new packaging. Following the announcement, more than 1,000 products will be rebranded as HealthSmart. 

"The time is right to bring all of our excellent products under the HealthSmart umbrella with a renewed focus on our marketing and brand," said Brad Mueller, EVP sales and marketing Briggs Healthcare. "We have seen the health-and-wellness product market grow, and there is great demand for stylish, well-designed products that meet customer needs. Many people don’t want to be seen with what they perceive as a medical product, so design and style are key," he said. "We are working on new product ranges that will compliment our existing offering and will excite our wholesale and retail customers alike."

In addition, new talent has been brought in to lead and overhaul its global sourcing and marketing function, including a new product development lead. New SVP marketing Vicky Mitchell joined the company following the acquisition of U.K.-based brand Switch Sticks. Mitchell now leads a team focused on the launch of the HealthSmart brand including newly appointed product development director Sam Bradley, who joins the company from Sears and ACCO Brands.  

And Randy Evans joins the company as SVP global sourcing, having worked in China and Asia in a variety of sourcing roles, and formerly in the United States at Dollar General, K Mart, The Marketing Store and Sears. 

Briggs is looking to increase the market share of the HealthSmart offering and build on all of its current sales channels, including e-commerce. A new website for wholesale customers launches in July with a new consumer store slated for September.

The company sells through thousands of pharmacies and drug stores, major retailers including Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, directly into medical facilities and internationally through a network of distributors.  

Since buying DMS Holdings in 2004, Briggs has maintained the MABIS Healthcare, DMI and Stein’s Professional Foot Care brands, which were part of the DMS portfolio. The Switch Sticks and Brazos Walking stick ranges were added in 2012. 

Briggs Healthcare’s medical records business will remain unchanged and still operates under the Briggs name. 

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McKesson owns a 75.7% stake of Celesio

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO — McKesson on Monday announced that the results of the initial acceptance period of the voluntary public takeover offer for the remaining shares of Celesio AG have been published. 

McKesson now owns 75.7% of Celesio shares on a fully diluted basis.

Shareholders who did not tender their Celesio shares into the takeover offer during the initial acceptance period may tender their shares within the additional two-week acceptance period. The additional two-week acceptance period will begin on April 8 and will expire on April 22.

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Sun Pharma to acquire Ranbaxy in a deal worth $4 billion

BY Michael Johnsen

MUMBAI, India — Sun Pharma on Sunday announced it will acquire 100% of Ranbaxy in an all-stock transaction valued at $4 billion. 

The combination of Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy creates the fifth-largest specialty generics company in the world and the largest pharmaceutical company in India, Sun Pharma stated. The combined entity will have operations in 65 countries, 47 manufacturing facilities across five continents, and a significant platform of specialty and generic products marketed globally, including 629 abbreviated new drug applications. 

“Ranbaxy has a significant presence in the Indian pharma market and in the U.S. where it offers a broad portfolio of ANDAs and first-to-file opportunities," stated Dilip Shanghvi, Sun Pharma managing director. "In high-growth emerging markets, it provides a strong platform which is highly complementary to Sun Pharma’s strengths."

On a pro forma basis, the combined entity’s revenues are estimated at $4.2 billion for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2013. 

Under these agreements, Ranbaxy shareholders will receive 0.8 share of Sun Pharma for each share of Ranbaxy. This exchange ratio represents a premium of 18% to Ranbaxy’s 30-day volume-weighted average share price and a premium of 24.3% to Ranbaxy’s 60-day volume-weighted average share price, in each case, as of the close of business on April 4, 2014. 

The proposed transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of Sun Pharma, Ranbaxy and Ranbaxy’s controlling shareholder, Daiichi Sankyo. Ranbaxy’s board and Sun Pharma’s board have recommended approval of the transaction to their respective shareholders.

The transaction is expected to represent a tax-free exchange to Ranbaxy shareholders, who are expected to own approximately 14% of the combined company on a pro forma basis. Upon closing, Daiichi Sankyo will become a significant shareholder of Sun Pharma and will have the right to nominate one director to Sun Pharma’s board of directors.

Ranbaxy has recently received a subpoena from the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey requesting that Ranbaxy produce certain documents relating to issues previously raised by the Food and Drug Administration with respect to Ranbaxy’s Toansa facility. In connection with the transaction, Daiichi Sankyo has agreed to indemnify Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy for, among other things, certain costs and expenses that may arise from the subpoena.

The transaction will need approval by majority in number representing 75% in value of the shares present and voting at the shareholder meetings of each of Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy. Both Daiichi Sankyo (which holds approximately 63.4% of the outstanding shares of Ranbaxy) and promoters of Sun Pharma (who hold approximately 63.7% of the outstanding shares thereof), have irrevocably agreed to vote in favor of the transaction.

Additionally, the closing of the transaction will be subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by the Indian Central Government, approval by the High Courts of Gujarat and Punjab and Haryana, approval by the Competition Commission of India and expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act in the United States. Pending approvals, Sun Pharma anticipates that the transaction will close by the end of calendar year 2014.

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R.Cohen says:
Apr-09-2014 04:15 pm

Ranbaxy has a consistent history of poor quality control at some of it's Indian manufacturing facilities. Sun is betting that it can help Ranbaxy correct it's problems. As a Pharmacy Technician, I'm betting the quality control issues will persist.

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