Pfizer acquires Danish food supplements operation

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

It would appear pharma giant Pfizer has gargantuan supplement ambitions as it buys Danish player, Ferrosan
It would appear pharma giant Pfizer has gargantuan supplement ambitions as it buys Danish player, Ferrosan
Pfizer has acquired the consumer healthcare business of Danish firm Ferrosan for an undisclosed fee in what the pharma giant says, “is an excellent strategic fit that strengthens our presence in dietary supplements”.

Pfizer Consumer Healthcare president Paul Sturman said the buy would give Pfizer, “a new set of compelling brands and product pipeline.”

“The transaction will mark an important step towards expanding Ferrosan's brands through Pfizer's global footprint. As an immediate result of this acquisition, we will gain greater distribution and scale for Pfizer's well-known brands such as Centrum and Caltrate in Ferrosan's regions."

Those regions are Scandinavia, Ukraine, Russia and central and eastern Europe where Ferrosan Consumer Health has established a presence with brands such as the multivitamin Multi-tabs, probiotic label Bifiform, omega-3 brand Fri Flyt/Active Omega, and skin care product Imedeen.

Barring regulatory intervention, the deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

Ferrosan was purchased in 2005 by the Danish private equity firm, Altor Equity Partners. In that time EBITDA doubled from 147m Danish Kroner (€19.7m) to DKK 302m (€40.5m), an average annual increase of 15 per cent.

The president and chief executive officer of Ferrosan, Ola Erici, observed of the deal: “Ferrosan has successfully expanded its Consumer Health business over the past years under strong support from Altor. With Pfizer as a new owner, we will now be able to take our core brands to more countries and at the same time increase product offerings in our existing markets. We believe that being part of Pfizer going forward will further contribute to our positive development, and will enable us to serve our customers even better.”

The deal is specific to Ferrosan Consumer Health as Ferrosan Medical Devices, which specialises in developing gelatine-based haemostatic products, will remain under Altor ownership.

As of Friday, Pfizer shares were at trading at $19.30 (€14.25) on the New York Stock Exchange.

Pfizer facing change

Pfizer has said it is placing more emphasis on external research partnerships and buy-ins as its core cash-cows such as the cholesterol reduction drug, Lipitor, and erectile dysfunction stalwart, Viagra, lose ground to generic drugs and other competitors.

It recently announced that it will close a 2400-strong R&D unit in the UK as part of a strategic shift from urology and internal medicine to vaccines, neuroscience, inflammation, oncology and immunology.

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