Sanofi completes Chattem deal
This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet
Sanofi-Aventis completes its purchase of Chattanooga, Tenn-based Chattem, giving the French firm a strong base for its growth in the U.S. consumer health care market, which represents 25 percent of the worldwide opportunity. Sanofi said March 11 that effective at the close of business on March 10, Chattem's common stock ceased trading on NASDAQ. The deal provides new channels for Sanofi to maximize the potential of switching prescription drugs to OTC products, beginning with its Rx antihistamine Allegra (1"The Tan Sheet" Jan. 4, 2010). Chattem's former CEO Zed Guerry will lead the U.S. consumer health care business for Sanofi, reporting to Greg Irace, president and CEO of Sanofi-Aventis U.S. Soon after agreeing to acquire Chattem, Sanofi underscored its expanding consumer product focus by naming Hans Regenauer to head its global OTC business (2"The Tan Sheet" Jan. 11, 2010)
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Sanofi seeks more acquisitions: Sanofi-Aventis continues to "hunt" for bolt-on acquisitions to further diversify its portfolio and feed its pipeline now that it has "properly bedded down and integrated" Chattem, said CEO Chris Viehbacher. He told analysts April 29 that the environment is "quite promising" for acquisitions and Sanofi is "aggressively pursuing external growth opportunities." The Chattem deal significantly boosted Sanofi's consumer health care business, which grew 42.5 percent to €499 million ($661.1 million) in the firm's fiscal 2010 first quarter, according to a same-day release (1"The Tan Sheet" March 15, 2010). Viehbacher lauded Chattem as a keystone in the company's future as a switch platform for the allergy medication Allegra. He noted Sanofi filed the paperwork with FDA for the switch in March; he expects the switch evaluation to take the same amount of time as other new product applications. Prescription sales for Allegra fell 27.1 percent in the quarter due to new competition from generics launched in the U.S. last November. Overall sales for the Paris-based firm grew 5.8 percent, according to the release
Sanofi-Aventis further highlights its consumer health focus by naming Hans Regenauer to head its global OTC business as the firm works to close its acquisition of OTC and personal care firm Chattem
Sanofi-Aventis' $1.9 billion bid for OTC and personal care product firm Chattem offers the French firm a coveted toehold in the sizeable U.S. consumer health care market while also opening potential opportunities in emerging markets