3M looking to shed its pharma business

3M said this week it is planning to sell its global branded pharmaceuticals business, which makes drugs for dermatology, women’s health, cardiology and respiratory medicine. The 3M Pharmaceuticals division’s most well-known brands include Aldara for the treatment of genital warts, Maxair Autohaler for asthma and Metrogel-Vaginal indicated in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis. The division is part of 3M’s healthcare business, where sales remained flat at $4 billion in 2005. There are approximately 1,500 employees in 3M’s pharma business worldwide. “The best way for this business to grow is for it to be free to pursue separate strategies under the direction of a dedicated pharmaceutical industry company with a business model better suited to maximize its potential,” said Brad Sauer, 3M Health Care EVP. “We believe our branded pharmaceuticals business is a valuable asset and there are more opportunities for technology and market synergies with a company other than 3M.” 3M has retained Goldman, Sachs & Co. as its investment banker to assist the company in the sale.