|Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers|
What's an OTC drugmaker worth in the race to the top of the consumer healthcare space? Potentially more than $5.3 billion, if that drugmaker is Belgium's Omega Pharma.
The up-for-sale company has so far drawn interest from suitors including Perrigo ($PRGO) and Boehringer Ingelheim, and the big guns--Bayer and Sanofi ($SNY)--may get involved, too, Bloomberg's sources say. According to those sources, the sale--still in its early stages--could bring in more than €4 billion.
With €1.2 billion in first-half sales this year, Omega could add some top-line firepower for any drugmaker looking to build its presence in the consumer health arena. The company boasts about 2,000 brands, according to its website, including painkiller Solpadeine.
Bayer and Sanofi have both shown quite a bit of recent interest in doing just that. Marijn Dekkers, the German pharma's CEO, has said many times that his company's aim is to be the world's OTC leader, a goal it furthered with a May deal to pick up Merck's ($MRK) consumer unit for $14.2 billion.
Sanofi, too, has beefed up its consumer lineup considerably over the past several years, more than doubling its sales in that department between 2008 and 2012. That growth spurt included a $1.9 billion buyout of U.S.-based Chattem and a key OTC launch for allergy med Allegra.
Perrigo hasn't shied away from M&A lately, either, though last year's $8.6 billion deal for Irish drugmaker Elan ($ELN) didn't further any OTC aims. Instead, the then-Michigan-based company picked up a new Dublin address in an inversion deal that slashed its tax rates.
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Special Reports: The top 10 pharma companies by 2013 revenue - Bayer HealthCare - Sanofi | Pharma's top 10 M&A deals of 2013 - Perrigo/Elan