Billions over the counter

Bayer is to acquire Roche Consumer Health in a 2.380 billion Euro deal, making the company one of the top three over-the-counter consumer health companies worldwide.

Bayer is to acquire Roche Consumer Health, making the company one of the top three over-the-counter (OTC) consumer health companies worldwide.

Bayer HealthCare’s Consumer Care Division and Roche Consumer Health both manufacture a number of well-known analgesic, dermatological, gastrointestinal and nutritional brands such as Bayer’s ‘Aspirin’ and Roche’s ‘Rennie’.

In addition to the Consumer Health acquisition, Bayer will acquire Roche’s 50% share of the 1997 Bayer/Roche joint venture in the US and five Roche production sites in Grenzach (Germany), Gaillard (France), Pilar (Argentina), Casablanca (Morocco) and Jakarta (Indonesia).

The OTC business of the Japanese company Chugai, in which Roche has a majority stake, however, is not included in the deal.

Bayer plans to finance the acquisition out of existing facilities. Bayer had liquid assets of 2.6 billion Euros at the end of the first quarter 2004.

The combined company will have sales of 2.4 billion Euros and 6,700 employees in 120 countries. It will be headed by Gary Balkema, currently president of Bayer HealthCare’s global Consumer Care Division and have its global headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey in the US.

The 2.380 billion Euro transaction is still subject to approval by relevant antitrust authorities.

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