Sanofi offloads 16 consumer health brands to Stada amid CEO Hudson's refocusing effort

Sanofi's cost cutting efforts saved the company €1.7 billion in 2020. (Sanofi)

Amid a reorganization scheme aimed at slashing costs and prioritizing immunology blockbuster Dupixent, Sanofi is hiving off a clutch of consumer brands sold mainly in Europe.  

As part of its quest to streamline consumer healthcare—and eventually spin off the unit as a standalone business—Sanofi will offload 16 consumer health products to Germany’s Stada Arzneimittel, the companies said Monday. 

Under the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter, Stada will get its hands on the registrations, trademarks and commercial rights for the products across 13 countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain, where sales are highest. The companies didn't disclose financial details. 

The portfolio covers cold and flu meds, skincare and food supplement brands, Stada said in a release.

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Sanofi doesn’t expect the divestiture to take a toll on its European workforce. The transaction doesn’t cover changeover of staff or manufacturing equipment, Stada said in its release.

Stada, a generics and over-the-counter specialist, figures the deal will cement its position as a “top-five player in Europe’s consumer healthcare market,” CEO Peter Goldschmidt said in a statement. By investing in the Sanofi portfolio, which includes “digital channels” and "product innovation,” Stada aims to give the brands “a new lease of life in their respective niches,” the company’s consumer healthcare lead Volker Sydow added.

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As Stada bulks up in consumer healthcare, Sanofi is slimming down with a view to eventually unleash the business as a standalone company. Sanofi unveiled the strategy as part of CEO Paul Hudson's revamped vision for the company back in December 2019. Sanofi also aims to wring €2.5 billion in annual expenses by 2022, and Hudson's strategy includes an added focus on growth drivers such as Dupixent and vaccines.

As it stands, Sanofi is still on track to "complete this transformation by end of 2022,” the company's spokesperson said.