Belfast Telegraph

Reckitt Benckiser eyes sale of drugs business

Cillit Bang to Vanish group Reckitt Benckiser is putting its pharmaceutical business under review in a move that could see the division offered for sale with a multi-billion pound price tag.

Slough-based Reckitt said it was considering "all options" for the drugs business, which is valued by some analysts at more than £2.5bn.

The pharmaceutical division is based in the United States and focuses on its Suboxone heroin addiction medicine – a treatment that is now facing competition after the recent launch of two generic rival tablets.

Revenues at the division stood at £191m in the third quarter, down 16% on a constant currency basis.

Reckitt has previously said the launch of generic tablets would mark the right time to consider its options for the pharmaceutical business.

But it cautioned the review would "take some time" and plans to update shareholders in 2014.

Reckitt shares rose 5% as investors welcomed a possible sale.

The group also made a marginal increase to its full-year net revenue outlook, pencilling in growth of at least 6% from previous guidance of 5% to 6%, thanks to a boost from recent acquisitions in the third quarter.

Belfast Telegraph