Aug. 12, 2015, 7:35 AM
- Reckitt Benckiser (OTCPK:RBGPF) (OTCPK:RBGLY) receives regulatory clearance from the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to purchase Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE:JNJ) K-Y intimate lubricant business with the proviso that it license the brand to a third party for eight years. During this period, the company selling K-Y would create its own brand, after which Reckitt would resume control of K-Y.
- Reckitt agreed to buy K-Y last year but encountered opposition from UK authorities who said the deal would reduce competition and result in higher prices for consumers. The CMA asked the company put forward measures to allay their concerns, but its initial proposals were unsuccessful.
- The company's plan to purchase the K-Y business in New Zealand was also blocked due to anti-competitive concerns. Reckitt chief Rakesh Kapoor isn't too concerned since the bulk of K-Y sales come from the U.S., Canada and Brazil.
- Under Mr. Kapoor, Reckitt is moving into higher margin consumer health products. The strategy appears to be working. H1 comps were up 13%.
Jul. 21, 2014, 8:56 AM
- German private equity firm Aurelius has agreed to buy Reckitt Benckiser's (OTCPK:RBGLY) Scholl shoe business. The company is expecting the brand to expand internationally and maintain growth.
- Aurelius will acquire the international rights to the business, except for North and South America, which will go to Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY) as part of its $14B purchase of Merck (NYSE:MRK).
- The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014.
Apr. 27, 2014, 1:23 AM
- Merck (MRK) could agree a deal to sell its consumer healthcare operations this week for almost $14B, Reuters reports, with Germany's Bayer (BAYRY) and U.K.-based Reckitt Benckiser (RBGLY) the frontrunners to buy the unit.
- Other healthcare consumer giants have also also shown interest in the business, including Procter & Gamble (PG), Novartis (NVS) and Sanofi (SNY).
- Merck is looking to sell the operations as it only holds around 1% of the market.
- A deal would be the latest in a wave of blockbuster transactions to have swept the healthcare sector recently, such as Pfizer's $100B+ reported offer to acquire AstroZeneca, Valeant and Bill Ackman's $47B play for Allergan, Zimmer's agreement to purchase Biomet for $13.35B, and a series of deals involving Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly.
Mar. 25, 2014, 7:26 AM
- Sanofi (SNY) has joined the auction for Merck's (MRK) over-the-counter health-products business, Bloomberg reports.
- Final offers could value the unit at $10-12B and are due in next week.
- Reckitt Benckiser (RBGLY) is the frontrunner, having become the most aggressive bidder.
- "OTC assets are highly desirable for market incumbents as almost no additional infrastructure is required," says Barclays. Merck's unit would be a "good fit" geographically for Sanofi, as 70% of its revenue comes from the U.S.
- Other interested parties include Bayer (BAYRY).
Mar. 10, 2014, 9:05 AM
- Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) has agreed to sell the global rights to its K-Y brand of intimate lubricants to Reckitt Benckiser (RBGLY).
- While the price of the deal wasn't provided, Reckitt did say that K-Y had 2013 sales of over $100M, the majority of which was generated in the U.S. Canada and Brazil.
- K-Y adds to Reckitt's Durex brand.
- The transaction doesn't include staff or fixed assets. (PR)
Feb. 20, 2014, 4:33 AM
- Novartis (NVS) and Bayer (BAYRY) are among the suitors that are exploring an acquisition of Merck's (MRK) consumer-healthcare business, Reuters reports, adding that the unit could be worth $10-12B.
- Reckitt Benckiser (RBGPF) and Procter & Gamble (PG) are also among the companies to have held talks with Merck about a deal. However, GSK (GSK) is not interested.
- Novartis and Merck have considered swapping the latter's consumer-healthcare operations for Novartis' animal-health and human vaccines businesses, although such a deal is looking unlikely.