The most recent merger impacting the OTC market was announced yesterday and involves Sanofi acquiring the consumer health unit of Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals in exchange for Sanofi’s Merial Animal Health business. This swap is still in negotiations; however, the addition of Boehringer-Ingelheim’s consumer health business will serve to broaden Sanofi’s global OTC portfolio in cough/cold, digestives, analgesics, and vitamins, as well as expand the company’s reach in key markets, such as Germany, Japan, and China. In 2014, Sanofi and Boehringer-Ingelheim had combined OTC sales of $942 million in the United States, ranking sixth in the market.
This deal follows several that have taken place over the past 14 months where major competitors in the OTC industry have merged or created joint-venture companies in an effort to expand their global reach, widen brand portfolios, achieve higher revenue growth, and seek cost synergies. Beyond strategic bolt-on acquisitions, such as Reckitt Benckiser’s acquisition of the Schiff vitamin and supplement business in October 2012, these recent mergers have made large competitors into global giants with portfolios that span nearly every consumer health category.Continue reading