HEALTH

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

BY Michael Johnsen

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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Perfecta Products expands distribution of Zim’s Maximum Heat

BY Michael Johnsen

NORTH LIMA, Ohio — Perfecta Products on Wednesday announced expansion of its Zim’s Maximum Heat external analgesic.

Maximum Heat is indicated for the temporary relief of muscle, back, shoulder and neck pain. It is the sister product of Perfecta’s Zim’s Max-Freeze. Zim’s Maximum Heat is formulated with aloe, arnica, vitamin E and tea tree oil.

Both the 2.5-oz. Zim’s Maximum Heat Roll-On and 3.5-oz. tube of Zim’s Maximum Heat retail for a suggested $10.49.

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ProPhase rejects second overture from Matrixx Initiatives

BY Michael Johnsen

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. — ProPhase Labs on Monday again rejected an acquisition proposal from Matrixx Initiatives. Matrixx’s latest offer was to acquire ProPhase for $1.60 per share in cash, up from a prior $1.40 per share proposal. 

"The extra 20 cents per share that Matrixx has tacked on to its prior inadequate offer does not alter our view that the current shareholders of ProPhase should benefit from the upside created by our current strategies, not the private equity owners of one of our primary competitors," stated Ted Karkus, ProPhase chairman and CEO. "Matrixx’s fundamental assertion that ProPhase supposedly ‘lacks the scale to effectively compete’ … is demonstrably false, as evidenced by the most recent 52-week industry retail sales data, which show that even without including ProPhase’s new products, our core Cold-Eeze Cold Remedy products continue to grow at double-digit rates while sales of many of our competitors’ products, including Matrixx’s Zicam-brand core cough-cold products, declined by double digits during the same time period."

Karkus added, "If we stay the course, we believe that our shareholders will be well rewarded for their patience."

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