HEALTH

Prestige Brands to acquire Blacksmith Brands for $190 million

BY Michael Johnsen

IRVINGTON, N.Y. Prestige Brands on Monday announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the stock of Blacksmith Brands for $190 million in cash. Blacksmith manages five over-the-counter brands, including Efferdent, Effergrip, PediaCare, Luden’s and NasalCrom.

 

With the addition of these five brands, OTC products in the Prestige portfolio now account for 75% of revenues and an even greater percentage of brand contribution.

 

“Strategic acquisitions in the OTC market are core to our shareholder value creation strategy,” stated Matthew Mannelly, Prestige CEO. "We are strengthening Prestige’s position in key categories with the additions of Efferdent, PediaCare and Luden’s. These three scale brands compete in attractive categories we know well.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, and is expected to close during fourth quarter 2010.

In June, Blacksmith Brands had voluntarily recalled all lots of its four children’s products in the PediaCare line, which were being manufactured for Blacksmith Brands by McNeil Consumer Healthcare at McNeil’s now-closed Fort Washington, Pa., plant. That recall was not initiated as a result of any consumer reports of adverse events, and no consumer complaints have been received about the safety or purity of the products, the company stated at the time.

 

In line with the announcement of the Blacksmith transaction, Prestige also announced the divestiture of its Cutex line of nail polish removers, the largest remaining product in its personal care segment. The sale to Arch Equity Partners of St. Louis was effective Sept. 1.

 

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Drug-resistant bacterial infections reported in 20 states, worldwide

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. Drug-resistant bacterial infections recently have been reported in more than 20 states across the United States, and now are responsible for an outbreak in Tel Aviv, Israel, according to a report in USA Today on Thursday, citing information from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

The bacterial infections prove fatal in as many as 60% of all cases.

The outbreak in Tel Aviv has been traced to northern New Jersey, Neil Fishman, director of SHEA, told the national daily. The bacteria in question are equipped with a gene that enables them to produce an enzyme that disables antibiotics. The enzyme is called Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenamase, or KPC. It disables carbapenem antibiotics, or last-ditch treatments for infections that don’t respond to other drugs.

The infections are taking place primarily in hospital settings and have not yet spread to the general community.

The problem may be of greater concern than methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, given the number of alternative treatments that are available. The only drug that appears to make any headway against carbapenem-resistant germs is polymyxin, a medicine that has fallen out of favor with doctors given the toxicity to the kidneys, Fishman said.

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FDA accepts NDA for Aricept patch

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. The Food and Drug Administration has accepted for review a regulatory approval application for a patch made by Eisai to treat Alzheimer’s disease, the drug maker said Friday.

 

The agency will review a patch formulation of Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride), a weekly patch for treating mild, moderate and severe stages of the disease. The drug already is available in tablet form.

 

 

If the patch is approved, Eisai will have marketing rights in the United States and promote the patch under a partnership with Pfizer.

 

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