GSK, RB no longer in running for Pfizer Consumer business

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GSK, RB no longer in running for Pfizer Consumer business

By Michael Johnsen - 03/23/2018
GlaxoSmithKline on Friday confirmed it has withdrawn from the bidding war for the Pfizer Consumer Healthcare business, following a similar announcement made by RB earlier this week.

That doesn't leave many companies large enough to swing the reported asking price of $20 billion for an OTC portfolio that includes powerhouse brands Advil and Centrum. Johnson & Johnson dropped out of the running in January.

“While we will continue to review opportunities that may accelerate our strategy, they must meet our criteria for returns and not compromise our priorities for capital allocation," Emma Walmsley, CEO GSK, said.

RB released a similar statement earlier in the week. "Our priority remains organic growth, including the completion of the integration of Mead Johnson Nutrition and creating further value from reorganizing into two new business units - Health and Hygeine Home," Rakesh Kapoor, RB CEO, said. "We always approach inorganic growth opportunities in a rigorous, disciplined and financially responsible manner to ensure long-term value creation for shareholders. An acquisition for the whole Pfizer consumer health business did not fit our acquisition criteria and an acquisition of part of the business was not possible."

GlaxoSmithKline may have been souring to the possible acquisition of the Pfizer consumer business as early as February, when Walmsley reported GSK was looking at the deal, but not at the expense of the company's focus on pharma.