Johnson & Johnson weighs sale of Women's Health division: report

US medical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is planning to sell its Women's Health division that makes women's products such as Stayfree and Carefree pads, The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend, citing people familiar with the process.

J&J has been keen to divest the unit as it continues to hive-off businesses that no longer fits with its growth priorities, the report said.

The unit, which also makes o.b. tampons and K-Y lubricant, could be of interest to private-equity firms, one of the people told the paper.

J&J's women's health unit had 2012 global sales of around $1.6 billion, down 9 per cent from 2011.

India has the largest Women's Health business in Asia Pacific and the third-largest napkin market for J&J globally. Its Women's Health Division in India markets the popular brands Stayfree, Carefree and O.B. Tampons.

But the New Jersey-based company J&J has in recent years been plagued with numerous recalls and is defending hundreds of lawsuits in both state and federal courts and overseas.