GlaxoSmithKline to finalize $15 billion bid for Pfizer OTC unit

UK drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline is finalizing a $15 billion bid for Pfizer’s over-the-counter drugs business, according to reports in the Financial Times (FT), The Times (of London) and others. The Financial Times reported that Glaxo would bid at least $14 billion for the unit and would not go higher than $16 billion. The Times report indicated Glaxo would spend up to $15 billion. If Glaxo’s bid is successful, it would make the company the world’s largest manufacturer of non-prescription drugs. Other companies interested in the division include Colgate Palmolive, Bayer and Johnson & Johnson. Pfizer said early this year that it would consider selling or spinning off its consumer-products unit, which markets brands including Listerine, Sudafed and Lubriderm. The division’s sales rose 10 % to $3.8 billion last year as sales of Pfizer’s prescription products fell 4% to $44 billion.