Expect Unwanted Brand Sales in Europe
May 30, 2017, VIENNA, AUSTRIA — Many OTC brands could be changing hands in Europe over the next few years as the world’s biggest companies reassess their portfolios after recent mergers, according to Fuad Sawaya of Sawaya Segalas.
“There will be no megadeals, but a lot of activity underneath,” he told the AESGP Annual Meeting in Vienna. Noting that Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline and Sano now had some 250 brands between them with sales of less than US$50 million – after their deals with Merck & Co, Novartis and Boehringer Ingelheim respectively – Sawaya commented: “There have been few divestments outside those required by regulatory agencies. This long tail of brands is likely to contribute to mergers and acquisitions activity.”
These rms’ focus on their biggest brands was bound to mean that they paid less attention to their smaller names, he added, many of which were established in European markets.
Mergers and acquisitions activity would also follow broader category de nitions, Sawaya maintained, as traditional OTC business expanded beyond consumer healthcare into brands that promised a “healthier life”. Reckitt Benckiser (RB) ac- quiring Mead Johnson was a case in point, adding infant formula to its seven power brands.
Underpinning this activity was the unprecedented recent movement of top executives from food and cosmetics rms into OTC companies, he added.