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Bayer signs OTC deal

Bayer Healthcare has announced a new deal with over-the-counter medicines specialist Sagmel to acquire its brand portfolio.

Bayer Healthcare (BHC) has announced a new deal with over-the-counter (OTC) medicines specialist Sagmel to acquire its brand portfolio.

The consumer care division of BHC is seeking to strengthen its position in CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries such as Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan by making this agreement with privately owned Sagmel.

Sagmel delivered $78m net sales for a period of 12 months starting in October 2006, and BHC is seeking to capitalise on the financial opportunities of OTC medicines in the CIS market.

Gary Balkema, president of BHC's consumer care division, said: "With the addition of the highly skilled employee group who will join our organisation, we expect to deliver outstanding performance."

Bayer is already well known for its OTC portfolio of products including well-known brands such as Aspirin, Alka-Seltzer, and Rennie.

It is hoped that this agreement between BHC and Sagmel will see the start of increased marketing and investment sales that could strengthen the joint portfolio and Bayer's existing OTC product range.

Arthur Higgins, chairman of BHC, said: "With this acquisition we continue to solidify our leading position in the global OTC market."

"Our consumer healthcare business is a key component of BHC and we will continue to invest in this area to ensure further growth," he added.

The agreement is due to close during 2008 and will see Sagmel employees and assets transferred to of BHC's consumer care division.

Anthony Melikhov, president of Sagmel, said: ìWe believe that this agreement with Bayer will allow the business to expand exponentially and offer benefits to out employees, trade customers and consumers in the region."

"We have grown our OTC business in the CIS and provided consumers in this growing market with strong brands to meet their healthcare needs," he added.

11th March 2008

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