Sanofi to Sell Five OTC Products to Ipsen

15.02.2017 -

French pharmaceutical producer Sanofi has agreed to sell five consumer healthcare products in certain European territories to compatriot drugmaker Ipsen for €83 million. The cash-and-credit deal, expected to complete in this year’s second quarter, is designed to comply with the European Commission’s restrictions on its planned asset swap with Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim.

The divestment includes Prontalgine, an analgesic for treatment of moderate to severe pain, solely available in France, which is said to have shown double-digit growth rates over the past four years. The asset portfolio also includes the antispasmodic Buscopan, the laxative Suppositoria Glycerini and two expectorants for cough and flu, Mucothiol and Mucodyne.

Ipsen competed with a number of other European drugmakers to clinch the deal. Especially with the addition of Prontalgine, the bolt-on acquisition strengthens the company’s consumer healthcare portfolio in Franc, said CEO David Meek. "The opportunity immediately improves the profitability profile of Ipsen’s primary care business and adds a limited portfolio of well-established and market leading brands in a key market such as France,” he added.

Jean Fabre, executive vice president, primary care at Ipsen, said the Sanofi products “are fully synergistic” with the company’s existing infrastructure, and the key asset Prontalgine will help it achieve a critical mass at the pharmacy level, accelerating the development of its consumer healthcare business.

In August 2016, the European Commission approved Sanofi’s proposed acquisition of Boehringer Ingelheim’s consumer health business but mandated it sell a number of OTC products in some western and eastern European countries. As part of the swap, the French drugmaker agreed to sell its €11.4 billion animal health subsidiary Merial to Boehringer in exchange for the German company’s €6.7 billion consumer health business plus €4.7 billion in cash.

To comply with the EU’s terms, Boehringer was obliged to sell some of its own animal health assets, including a portfolio of swine and bovine vaccines, to France’s Ceva Sante Animale, along with divesting some of its pet vaccines to Eli Lilly.