Blackstone and US producer in Glaxo auction

US PRIVATE equity house Blackstone has joined forces with a manufacturer to bid for a series of consumer products being sold by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Blackstone and Prestige Brands want to buy nearly 20 brands, such as sleep aid Nytol, nasal spray Beconase and Abtei vitamins, minerals and supplements, which the pharmaceuticals giant has decided are outside its core business areas.

The products up for sale achieved revenues of about £500m last year, a tenth of GSK’s consumer healthcare turnover.

When it announced the sale in February, the firm said: “GSK has lacked sufficient critical mass in some product categories and certain brands have lacked focus due to other global priorities.”

A spokeswoman for GSK told City A.M. it had received “huge” interest from private equity firms and potential strategic buyers. It is looking at the second round of bids and hopes to agree a deal by the end of this year. Blackstone declined to comment.

Prestige, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and could not be reached for comment, makes healthcare, personal care and household products.