Watson sells Rugby OTC business to Harvard Drug Group for $117 million

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Watson Pharmaceuticals on Wednesday announced the sale of its Rugby over-the-counter business to the Harvard Drug Group — a distributor and provider of private-label OTCs and generic prescription products under the Major Pharmaceuticals brand — for approximately $117 million.  

"I am confident that Major, with its leadership position as a marketer of OTC products, will be more strategically positioned to maximize the value of the long-known and respected Rugby name," stated Paul Bisaro, president and CEO of Watson.

The transaction received clearance from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Oct. 19.

The Rugby OTC portfolio includes more than 250 SKUs of cough-cold, allergy, pain relief, nausea relief, nicotine gum, vitamin and nutritional supplement products. Under terms of the agreement, Harvard Drug has acquired the Rugby trademark and all rights to market, sell and distribute OTC products and nicotine gum products sold under the trademark. Watson retains all rights to manufacture, sell and distribute all store-branded nicotine gum products, as well as other non-Rugby OTC products in its portfolio.  

Watson also retains ownership of its nicotine gum abbreviated new drug applications, as well as its nicotine gum manufacturing facilities. Consequently, as part of the transaction, Watson and Harvard have entered into a supply agreement under which Watson will manufacture and supply nicotine gum products sold in the Rugby and Major labels.

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