Novartis to buy BMS OTC brands for $660 million

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Novartis is buying the U.S. and Canadian OTC business of Bristol-Myers Squibb for $660 million, giving the Swiss firm entry into the $2 billion U.S. market for adult tablet headache remedies with Excedrin.
The deal includes rights to market the brands in Latin America, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, where net sales totaled $16 million in 2004. Sales of the drugs in the U.S. and Canada were $242 million in 2004. Also included are limited rights to Moisturel and Lac-Hydrin in Canada, along with several dormant trademarks. BMS is holding on to its local and regional consumer medicines business, which is run separately. Manufacturing facilities were not included. 
In addition to Excedrin, which had U.S. sales of $160 million in 2004, the business includes Keri skin care, decongestant 4-Way, cold and flu treatment Comtrex, No-Doz, antifungal Vagistat and analgesics Bufferin and Mineral Ice. Novartis' existing OTC business includes ExLax, Maalox, Theraflu and Lamisil AT.
BMS announced in January that it was divesting the unit as part of its effort to refocus its business on specialty pharmaceuticals.
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