As shareholders gear up to vote on Reckitt Benckiser's plan to spin off its ailing pharma division, company execs are gearing up to double down on consumer health. And though a handful of pharma heavyweights are targeting the field with renewed focus, the British OTC giant believes it has the edge.
Reckitt Benckiser announced over the summer that it would spin off its pharma unit to shed some extra weight. Now, the British consumer goods company is moving forward with its slimdown regimen, planning to list the addiction control-focused unit on the London Stock exchange before the end of the year.
How many people out there feel like they can relate to an animated green blob, Mr. Mucus, who lives inside patients' chests? Well, Reckitt Benckiser is going to try to make it a little easier for you.
What's that about Bart Becht's shadow? Don't ask Reckitt Benckiser CEO Rakesh Kapoor. He's not living in it.
Reckitt Benckiser has been dropping plenty of hints that it would eventually spin off its pharmaceuticals unit. The time is here: The company says it will break off its pharma unit via with a separate U.K. listing, becoming the latest drugmaker to join pharma's slim-down craze.
British consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser indicated Wednesday that bidding for the consumer healthcare unit of Merck had gotten out of hand, and so it decided to step aside. By dropping out it would appear to leave Germany's Bayer as the likely buyer for the unit.
As Reuters reported this weekend, Reckitt and Germany's Bayer have emerged as front-runners for the unit, which could go for $13.5 billion--or higher, if a bidding war ensues.
Merck has entered the home stretch with its consumer unit sale, and the deal may be even bigger than previous reports have hinted. According to Reuters, the unit could go for close to $14 billion--a number that could climb even higher as front-runners Bayer and Reckitt Benckiser duke it out.
British consumer products maker Reckitt Benckiser said during a first-quarter business review today that it's moving closer to carving out its struggling pharmaceutical unit and listing it as a separate public company. A strategic review of the unit that was launched last October continues, but a "capital markets solution is emerging as a strong option," Reckitt CFO Adrian Hennah told Reuters.
With a final bid deadline looming, Merck & Co.'s consumer health unit still has several big-name pharma suitors. But Reckitt Benckiser, the Irish consumer specialist, may end up snatching the prize, Bloomberg reports.