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Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY) Seeks Buyer for Brands in Mexico, Brazil, Deal May Fetch Around $750 Million



2/1/2013 7:08:40 AM

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) is seeking a buyer for a collection of brands in Mexico and Brazil that could fetch as much as $750 million, according to people familiar with the matter, a deal that would highlight the strong demand from corporate acquirers for consumer health assets around the world. The New York-based healthcare giant is in the late stages of an auction of the brands, with a small handful of U.S. and European drug and consumer companies still in the bidding, according to people familiar with the matter. It's unclear which bidders are still in the running for the business. A deal could be reached in the next two to three weeks, the people said. A spokeswoman for Bristol said, "We don't comment on rumors and speculation." The brands, such as a pain reliever similar to Tylenol called Tempra that is sold in Mexico, together generate sales of just $100 million to $150 million per year, one of the people said. But, according to this person and others, the winning bidder may pay in the neighborhood of five times that, a lofty multiple compared with the average takeover deal--highlighting the desirability of established consumer brands in economies with higher growth potential like Mexico and Brazil. Bristol, which has a market value of nearly $60 billion, derives most of its roughly $18 billion of annual sales from drugs such as the Erbitux cancer treatment.

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