Top Stories
Top Stories
Health and Science

Bristol-Myers gets a $1.6 billion offer for its French consumer health unit

Key Points
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb received an offer from Japanese health-care firm Taisho Pharmaceutical to buy the company's French over-the-counter drugs business UPSA for $1.6 billion.
  • The offer by Taisho, which has its presence in anti-inflammatory analgesic, cold and flu, and hair growth segments in Japan and Southeast Asia, is structured in the form of a "put option" agreement, the companies said.
A researcher in a Bristol-Myers Squibb laboratory. The drugs — ipilimumab (brand name Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo) — belong to a class called checkpoint inhibitors and are made by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Emile Wamsteker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Bristol-Myers Squibb received an offer from Japanese health-care firm Taisho Pharmaceutical to buy the company's French over-the-counter drugs business UPSA for $1.6 billion, the companies said on Wednesday.

Bristol-Myers said it estimates the potential deal would be approximately $0.04 dilutive to 2019 earnings.

The offer by Taisho, which has its presence in anti-inflammatory analgesic, cold and flu, and hair growth segments in Japan and Southeast Asia, is structured in the form of a "put option" agreement, the companies said.

Upon exercise of the put option, Taisho would acquire UPSA as well as Bristol-Myers Squibb's assets and liabilities relating to the UPSA product portfolio, the companies said.

UPSA's portfolio covers a wide range of therapeutic areas such as pain, cough and cold, vitamins and supplements, gastrointestinal and sleep.

Deutsche Bank Securities and Jefferies acted as exclusive financial advisors to Bristol-Myers Squibb. Kirkland & Ellis, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Baker & McKenzie acted as its legal advisers.

The offer comes at a time when drugmakers are trying to survive a contraction in the Japanese drug market due to government-led price cuts and promotion of generic drugs.

Sales of the Japanese drugmaker's over-the-counter drugs in foreign markets was worth 8.8 billion yen in April-September, down 7.9 percent on year, according to its results.

Taisho could not be immediately reached for comment.

Next Article
Pharmaceuticals

Drugmaker GSK to split in two after folding in Pfizer's consumer unit

Key Points
  • The revamp is the boldest move yet by Chief Executive Emma Walmsley, who took over last year.
  • She has previously played down the idea of breaking up the group, something that a number of investors have called for over the years.
  • On Wednesday, however, Walmsley announced that GSK and Pfizer would combine their consumer health businesses in a joint venture with sales of 9.8 billion pounds ($12.7 billion), 68 percent-owned by the British company, in an all-equity transaction.