Irish drug group to buy P&G unit for $3.1 bln



Irish pharmaceuticals group Warner Chilcott has agreed to buy the prescription-drug unit of US consumer products giant Procter & Gamble for 3.1 billion dollars (2.2 billion euros), the two said on Monday.

"The Procter & Gamble Company and Warner Chilcott today announced an agreement for the sale of P&G's global pharmaceuticals business to Warner Chilcott for an up-front cash payment of 3.1 billion dollars," the groups announced in a joint statement.

Warner Chilcott will acquire P&G's portfolio of pharmaceutical products plus 2,300 employees working for the division.

"The acquisition of the P&G pharmaceutical brands and employee talent is a transformational, strategic move for us," said Roger Boissonneault, president and chief executive officer of Warner Chilcott.

"The acquisition transforms Warner Chilcott into a global pharmaceutical company, expands our presence in women's healthcare, establishes us in the urology market in advance of the anticipated launch of our erectile dysfunction treatments, and adds gastroenterology therapies to our product portfolio."

The deal was expected to close by the end of the year, subject to regulatory approvals, and result in a one-time gain for P&G of 1.4 billion dollars, or 44 cents a share.

P&G also expects earnings dilution of at least 10 cents to 12 cents per share because of lost profit and remaining overhead costs from the unit.

Warner Chilcott focuses on women's healthcare and dermatology products for the US pharmaceutical market. It is based in Ireland but its shares are traded on the tech-heavy Nasdaq index in the United States. P&G is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this report --

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