Warner Chilcott pays $3.1B for P&G drug unit

Late last year, Proctor & Gamble decided that it wanted out of the pharmaceuticals business. Its drug unit--which features drugs in the areas of women's health, gastrointestinal problems and musculoskeletal disorders--had not been very profitable for P&G, so the company went hunting for a buyer.

After months of searching, Warner Chlcott said this morning that it's paying $3.1 billion to buy the pharma business. The specialty drugmaker has raised $4 billion in financing for the transaction--the remainder will go to refinancing Warner's existing debt.

As part of the deal, Warner gets Asacol HD Delayed-Release Tablets for ulcerative colitis, Actonel for osteoporosis, and the co-promotion rights to Enablex for overactive bladder, as well as P&G's prescription drug product pipeline and manufacturing facilities in Puerto Rico and Germany. Most of P&G's 2,300 pharma employees will transfer to Warner Chilcott. P&G said the sale will allow it to  focus on its consumer healthcare business.

"The acquisition of the P&G pharmaceutical brands and employee talent is a transformational, strategic move for us," said Warner CEO Roger Boissonneault in a statement. "The acquisition transforms Warner Chilcott into a global pharmaceutical company, expands our presence in women's healthcare, establishes us in the urology market in advance of the anticipated launch of our erectile dysfunction treatments, and adds gastroenterology therapies to our product portfolio."

- here's P&G's release
- check out the Wall Street Journal piece