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Pfizer to sell diagnostics business

Published on 21/01/04 at 01:22pm

Pfizer has agreed to sell its Swedish in-vitro allergy and autoimmune diagnostic business to private equity groups Triton and PPM ventures for $575 million.

The US company indicated in July that it would look for a buyer for its Uppsala-based diagnostic business - acquired from Pharmacia in April 2003 - after concluding it did not fit the company's current strategic focus.

The near-$60 billion purchase of US competitor Pharmacia consolidated Pfizer 's position as the world's largest pharma group, but also brought with it a variety of non-core businesses which it now wants to offload.

"The diagnostic testing business is the recognised leader in in-vitro allergy testing," said Hank McKinell, chairman and chief executive of Pfizer. "We wish our diagnostics colleagues well as they set their course for future growth with Triton and PPM."

The business had sales of $220 million in 2002 and the cash deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2004.

The deal follows Pfizer's recent announcement that it is to sell off around 60 non-core consumer products in Europe it acquired in the Pharmacia acquisition.

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