STERLING HEALTH OTC BUSINESS IN EUROPE COMBINES SANOFI AND STERLING OPERATIONS INTO "LARGEST" CONSUMER HEALTH PRODUCTS BUSINESS ON CONTINENT
The proposed strategic alliance of Sterling Drug and Sanofi will merge the two companies' OTC businesses in Europe on a country-by-country basis under Sterling oversight. The combination, called Sterling Health, will create the "largest OTC health products organization in Europe," the companies said Jan. 9. Sanofi OTC products have current European sales of approximately 1 bil. francs, the company says, or roughly $ 500 mil. In 1989, Sanofi reported that sales of its OTCs in Europe totaled 785 mil. francs. The company's OTCs lead the French market with a 7.1% share, are second in Italy with a 5% share, and are "significant" presences in Belgium, the Netherlands, the U.K., and Spain. Sanofi entered the U.K. OTC market in 1989 with the acquisition of International Laboratories, Ltd., and moved into Spain that same year as a majority owner in a joint venture with Prodesfarma. Sanofi markets a number of OTC and consumer healthcare products in Europe. Brandnames include Midy Vitamin C products; Marie Rose shampoo; Algipan analgesic balm; the analgesic Metaspirine; Collyrex, Pullmoll, Cequinyl cough/cold medicines; and Ideolaxyl laxative. Sterling's Lehn & Fink H&BA and household products business (Tussy, Ogilvie; Lysol, etc.) would not be included in the proposed strategic alliance with Sanofi, and, instead, would remain within Kodak. Under the joint venture agreement, announced by the companies in New York City Jan. 9, Sterling would retain all rights to its existing non-European OTC business. In the U.S., Bayer and its line extensions account for more than 36% of Sterling's total sales, the company said. In addition, Sterling markets such well known brands as the Panadol and Midol analgesics, the nearly 120-year-old Phillips' Milk of Magnesia laxative brand, Stri-Dex acne pads, Campho-Phenique, Neo- Synephrine and NaSal nasal sprays and Dairy Ease enzyme tablets. Approximately 55% of Sterling OTC sales are generated outside the U.S. Worldwide, more than half of its OTC sales derive from its analgesic brands, with laxatives and gastrointestinal products generating the second largest revenue share from OTCs, Sterling said. Pain relievers marketed outside the U.S. include the U.K.'s "number one" effervescent analgesic, according to Sterling, as well as the major "market leaders" Sonrisal in Brazil and Mejoral in most of Latin America, and the market leading ibuprofen Actiprofen in Canada. Other Sterling International OTC brands include Cafenol analgesic, Dietoman diet aids, Andrews Liver Salts and Valda cough/cold products.
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