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Bristol-Myers gets US$1.6b offer for French consumer health unit

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UPSA's portfolio covers a wide range of therapeutic areas such as pain, cough and cold, vitamins and supplements.

Bengaluru

BRISTOL-Myers Squibb Co received an offer from Japanese healthcare firm Taisho Pharmaceutical Holdings Co Ltd to buy the company's French over-the-counter drugs business UPSA for US$1.6 billion, the companies said on Wednesday.

Bristol-Myers said it estimates the potential deal would be approximately US$0.04 dilutive to 2019 earnings.

The offer by Taisho, which has its presence in anti-inflammatory analgesic, cold and flu and hair growth segments in Japan and South-east Asia, is structured in the form of a "put option" agreement, the companies said.

Upon exercise of the put option, Taisho would acquire UPSA as well as Bristol-Myers Squibb's assets and liabilities relating to the UPSA product portfolio.

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UPSA's portfolio covers a wide range of therapeutic areas such as pain, cough and cold, vitamins and supplements, gastrointestinal and sleep.

The offer comes at a time when drugmakers are trying to survive a contraction in the Japanese drug market due to government-led price cuts and promotion of generic drugs.

Sales of the Japanese drugmaker's over-the-counter drugs in foreign markets were worth 8.8 billion yen (S$107.3 million) in April-September, down 7.9 per cent on year, according to its results. REUTERS

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