Report: Bids for Pfizer unit top $14B
Pfizer seeing strong interest in its consumer products unit, which includes Listerine, Rolaids, Sudafed, even as P&G and private equity bidders stay on sideline.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Drugmaker Pfizer received bids worth more than $14 billion for its consumer products unit, which includes well-known products like Listerine, Rolaids and Sudafed, according to a published report.
The New York Times reports Pfizer (Research) received the offers from some of its large rivals, including British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (Research), U.S. drug and consumer product maker Johnson & Johnson (Research), as well as a British household cleaning products maker, Reckitt Benckiser.
Pfizer announced in February that it would try to sell its consumer products unit in an effort to refocus on prescription drugs. The company said in March that it had seen interest in the unit and that it expected to close on a sale in the third quarter.
The unit had sales of $3.9 billion in 2005, up 10.3 percent, although that was down from 19 percent growth in 2004.
The Times reports that leading U.S. consumer company Procter & Gamble (Research) and most private equity firms eventually passed on bidding in the auction because the asking price was too high. But the paper reports that people involved in the auction said the bids received Tuesday show how much interest there was in big consumer brands.
Shares of P&G were up more than 1 percent in Frankfurt trading early Wednesday on the report that it was not participating in the auction, while shares of Pfizer, another Dow component were up 0.65 percent.
For a look at Pfizer's puzzle, click here.