Sanofi nears deal to sell some OTC products to Ipsen SA

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi is nearing a deal to sell some over-the-counter products (OTC) worth around €100 million ($106.18 million) to Ipsen SA, Bloomberg yesterday reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Ipsen emerged as the preferred bidder in the auction where other pharmaceutical companies had also participated, the report said.

The deal comes eight months after Sanofi  agreed to swap its €11.4-billion Merial animal-health business for Boehringer's €6.7-billion global consumer-health operation excluding in China, and Boehringer proposed to offset the price difference by paying Sanofi €4.7 billion in cash.

This deal was closed last month after Sanofi offered to divest some OTC products in some western and eastern European countries and Boehringer Ingelheim agreed to sell five types of animal health products in order to get the US and the EU regulatory approvals.

Boehringer Ingelheim recently sold some swine and bovine vaccines to France's Ceva Sante Animale and some pet vaccines to Eli Lilly & Co.

The European Commission had approved Sanofi-Boehringer Ingelheim asset-swap deal provided Sanofi divested some OTC brands in several countries including the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia.

The European Commission had said that the transaction "could have led to higher prices and less choice for customers".

In the anti-spasmodics product category, Sanofi had agreed to make divestments in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia. It has also agreed to reduce its offering in the Czech Republic in the anti-constipation category.

It also agreed to divest chesty cough products in Greece and Ireland, and headache products in France.