Valeant, J&J, Nestle nab new businesses

Here a deal, there a deal, everywhere a deal today: Three companies have struck sub-billion-dollar agreements, each with a different strategy in mind. Valeant Pharmaceuticals has agreed to buy Sanitas for $443 million, while Johnson & Johnson is in a $260 million deal for a portfolio of Russian over-the-counter meds, and Nestle has snapped up Prometheus Laboratories for a reported $567 million-plus.

Valeant apparently has rebounded from its recent loss of Cephalon to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. The Canadian company now says it will buy Lithuania's Sanitas for about €314 million in a bid to expand its stable of branded generics in Europe. "With 80 percent of the Sanitas portfolio consisting of non-reimbursed products with limited exposure to government pricing pressures, Valeant will be in a key position to continue our expansion into Central and Eastern Europe," CEO Michael Pearson said.

Meanwhile, J&J has snapped up some OTC medicines now marketed in Russia, from JB Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals. The brands include Russia's leading cough-and-cold line, Rinza, plus the country's No. 2 cough brand, Doktor Mom. The deal came in at about $260 million, Reuters reports.

Finally, Nestle's newly established health science unit has plunked down somewhere between 500 million Swiss francs and 1 billion Swiss francs for Prometheus. The San Diego-based company is predicted to bring in $250 million last year from gastrointestinal and cancer diagnostics and treatments, Bloomberg reports. The Swiss company has said it's intent on establishing a leading business in therapeutic nutrition, and this deal will give it "personalized healthcare solutions based on diagnostics, pharma and nutrition," Nestle Health Science CEO Luis Cantarell said in a statement.

- get the Valeant release
- see the Reuters story
- get more from Reuters
- read the Bloomberg piece