Sanofi aims for top spot in consumer health via asset swap
Sanofi said on Tuesday it hopes to take over the consumer health care unit of German peer Boehringer Ingelheim via an asset swap, making the French pharmaceutical giant the sector's world leader.
Sanofi is offering its animal health unit Merial in exchange for Boehringer's consumer health business plus 4.7 billion euros ($5.2 billion) in cash in exclusive negotiations between both companies.
If concluded, the deal would give Sanofi close to 4.6 percent of the world's consumer health care market, making it the global leader in the segment. The German company's Chinese operations are, however, not part of the talks.
Boehringer meanwhile would become the world's number two in animal health.
"The consumer health care business of Boehringer Ingelheim would strengthen Sanofi's position in Germany and in Japan, where Sanofi's presence is limited," Sanofi said in a statement.
Boehringer's consumer health care unit includes leading brands in anti-spasmodics, laxatives, vitamins and cough treatments.
"This transaction would allow Sanofi to become a world leader in the attractive non-prescription medicines market and would bring a complementary portfolio with highly recognised brands, allowing for mid and long term value creation," Sanofi chief executive Olivier Brandicourt said in the statement.
The announcement was a shot in the arm for Sanofi shares, which posted a healthy 5 percent increase in early trading on the Paris stock exchange.
© 2015 AFP