Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Lemsip & Dettol brands sold to Reckitt Benckiser

The owner of brands such as Lemsip and Dettol, Reckitt Benckiser, took its first steps into the US healthcare market yesterday by unveiling a £1.1 billion all-cash deal to buy Adams Respiratory Therapeutics, a Nasdaq-listed pharmaceutical company. Adams, markets two cough mixtures in the US, Mucinex and Delsym, which together generate annual sales of more than $322 million (£157 million).

Reckitt will pay $60 a share for the company, representing a 37% premium to Adams' closing price of $43.68 on Friday. It is the Anglo-Dutch group's second major acquisition in the over-the-counter pharmaceuticals sector in the past two years. Last year, the group bought Boots Healthcare International, which includes the Strepsils and Disprin cold remedy brands, for £1.93 billion.

Mr Becht, chief executive, said the deal would be immediately earnings enhancing, adding that the group expects to achieve "substantial" cost synergies from the acquisition, although there would be a one-off restructuring charge of $60 million. (source: The Independent)

Reuters is in discussion with The New York Times about supplying business news to the American newspaper, after reaching a similar agreement with its sister title the International Herald Tribune .

The tie-ups are designed to augment both titles’ business coverage, in an attempt to fend off the competitive threat from The Wall Street Journal , which is due to be acquired by News Corporation this week.

From January, the International Herald Tribune will feature five or six pages of business coverage under the brand Business with Reuters and part of the newspaper’s website will be co-branded.

Rupert Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, plans to broaden The Wall Street Journal’ s focus so that it better competes with The New York Times on its home turf, and to invest in its international editions to compete with the International Herald Tribune abroad. (source: Timesonline)

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