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Pfizer to sell-off sixty OTC products in Europe

Published on 16/01/04 at 01:18pm

Pfizer is looking to sell off about 60 non-core consumer products in Europe to position the business for long-term growth in the region.

The majority of the products are small brands, spanning a range of OTC and personal care categories many of which are sold in only one market, such as Claire Fischer beauty products in Germany and Restivoil in Italy.

Chairman and chief executive Hank McKinell said: "Consumer healthcare remains one of Pfizer's three core areas of strategic focus, in addition to human prescription pharmaceuticals and animal health. This process will better position our consumer healthcare business for long-term growth in Europe, a key region for us".

Pfizer acquired most of the products in its acquisition of US pharmaceuticals rivals Warner-Lambert and Pharmacia.

The merger with Pharmacia in 2003 consolidated the company'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 with the help of investment bank Merrill Lynch.

The exercise is a continuation of a well-established divestment strategy - Pfizer sold the former Warner-Lambert Adams confectionery business for $4.2 billion to Cadbury Schweppes in December 2002 and Energizer (the US battery maker) bought Schick-Wilkinson Sword - Pfizer's razor blade business - for $930 million in January last year.

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