Blackstone/Prestige, Stada on hunt for GSK consumer portfolio

Lots of talk about the bidding lineup for GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) consumer-drug portfolio. Dow Jones reports that Blackstone Group teamed up with Prestige Brands on a bid, and Bain Capital is also in the running. Germany's Stada is apparently interested as well, but perhaps only in the European brands within the portfolio, Financial Times Deutschland reports.

Prestige is an over-the-counter drug company based in the U.S. that's been on something of a shopping spree lately. The company bought OTC drugmaker Blacksmith Brands last year, Dow Jones notes, and picked up the Dramamine line of motion sickness products from Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) consumer drug unit.

Meanwhile, Stada has been eyeing consumer drugs as a way to diversify away from prescription-only generics. Sources tell the FTD Stada wants to buy the European segment of GSK's for-sale portfolio and has hired HSBC to advise it on the deal. The German company has also set aside "several hundred million euros" for the acquisition. DZ Bank's Michael Bissinger told Reuters the price for that chunk of the business would be anywhere from $689 million to $1.17 billion.

GSK put the products up for sale earlier this year because it wants to focus on building the rest of its consumer portfolio. The OTC products include the weight loss drug alli and the BC and Goody's pain relievers. They account for about £500 million in sales, or about $790 million. The products Stada wants amount to £190 million in sales. GSK has said, however, that it prefers to sell the entire portfolio to one buyer.

- read the Dow Jones story
- get more from Reuters

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