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P&G to acquire German Merck’s consumer health business

BY DSN STAFF

Procter & Gamble is growing its global footprint with its latest acquisition. The Cincinnati-based company will be acquiring the consumer health business of Darmstadt, Germany-based Merck KGaA for roughly €3.2 billion, or roughly $3.9 billion, P&G said Thursday. The company also will be terminating its joint venture with Teva.

P&G executives said that the acquisition would grow its geographic scale and footprint in most of the world’s top 15 OTC markets, adding products in such categories as muscle, joint and back pain, as well as cold and headaches that the company previously lacked. Currently, P&G is ranked ninth in the $233 billion global consumer health market based on sales, according to Euromonitor. Merck KGaA’s $1 billion consumer health business includes more than 900 products in 44 countries, and grew 6% in the past two years, the companies said. Top brands — sold largely in Europe, Latin America and Asia — include Neurobion, Dolo-Neurobion, Femibion, Nasivin, Bion3, Seven Seas and Kytta

“Over the past few years, our healthcare business has delivered consistent growth and strong shareholder value creation,“ said Steve Bishop, P&G group president of global health care. “The consumer health business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, brings a strong set of brands, products and capabilities, and provides an attractive and complementary footprint to further fuel growth as we continue to grow our existing leading brands.”

P&G global personal health care president Tom Finn said, “This acquisition helps us continue to drive sales and profit growth for P&G by providing the capabilities and portfolio scale we need to operate a winning global OTC business on our own, without the aid of a health care partner.”

The company said it was ending its partnership with Teva following a recent review the determined the two companies’ strategies and priorities to be out of sync. Products within the PGT Healthcare joint venture will be returned to their respective companies, and the partnership will officially terminate on July 8, pending regulatory approval.

Merck, in selling the consumer health unit, said that the sale was aimed at focusing its business on health care, life science and performance materials as a science and tech company. “With this transaction, we continue to rigorously deliver on our strategy to become a global specialty innovator and bring breakthrough medicines to patients,” Merck KGaA executive board member Belén Garijo said.

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