GLAXOSMITHKLINE has announced the sale of a package of European brands to Belgian company Omega Pharma.
The company said the £391m cash deal would see Omega take on brands such as Solpadeine, Nytol, Zantac, Beconase and Lactacyd, as well as a manufacturing site in Germany. This will take place in the second quarter of the year, subject to regulatory approval.
The sale is part of a wider disposal of non-core over-the-counter brands for the company, which employs around 1,200 staff in County Durham and Cumbria in other areas of its manufacturing work.
Prestige Brands Holdings bought Glaxo’s American brands for £426m in December.
GSK’s chief financial officer Simon Dingemans said: “The divestment of our non-core brands in Europe builds on the recent successful sale of our US and Canadian assets. Given the continued economic challenges across the Eurozone, I am pleased that we have been able to transact these assets at a good price for GSK.
“The objective of this divestment process is to generate attractive returns for shareholders as well as simplifying our ongoing consumer business, enabling it to focus on its priority brands and markets.”
The European brands involved in the deal generated sales of around £185m last year. A spokeswoman for the company confirmed Glaxo was still seeking a buyer for its remaining brands.
She said this would allow it to focus on its three key areas of oral health, wellness and nutrition, where it boasts best- sellers such as Panadol, Sensodyne and Horlicks.
The company has still not made a decision on where it may place a new plant employing around 1,000 people. It is looking at sites such as Barnard Castle in County Durham and Ulveston in Cumbria, but there are also two Scottish locations in the running.
Glaxo said it was undertaking an “ongoing feasibility study” to identify the best site.