Bain, Waterland, Omega partner for £1.5bn GSK portfolio


The protracted sale of British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline’s £1.5bn over-the counter drug portfolio has resumed, and is currently being pursued by a consortium comprising global private equity heavyweight Bain Capital, Dutch buy-out peer Waterland and Belgian rival Omega Pharma.

According to Reuters, bids are due on Wednesday for the unit, in a sale that is also expected to attract offers from rivals including Sanofi and private equity firms including Advent International and Avista, which could either bid for all or part of the unit.

Reports in December speculated that global private equity firm Thomas H Lee Partners had emerged as the frontrunner to buy the portfolio of non-core assets following a second round of bids, beating a joint offer from private equity peers Bain Capital and Blackstone, which partnered with Prestige Brands Holdings.

The consortium joined German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim in a sale process for 19 over-the-counter products, which include Nytol sleeping tablets, the analgesics Solpadeine and a weight management product called Alli. The products generated revenues of around £500m in 2010.

A statement from GSK following its fourth quarter 2010 results in February announced plans to divest the products in order to focus its consumer healthcare division on priority brands, particularly in emerging markets.

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