Glaxo sells brands including Nytol to Belgium’s Omega

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PHARMA giant GlaxoSmithKline has sold some of its brands in Europe, including sleeping pill Nytol and hayfever spray Beconase, to Omega Pharma for €470m (£391m), it said yesterday.

The firm has been offloading its non-core healthcare consumer brands for about a year, and said yesterday the proceeds from this latest sale will be returned to shareholders.

The brands being divested also include Lactacyd, Abtei, Solpadeine, and Zantac, and together the assets generated sales of £185m in 2011.

The sale is due to complete later this spring.

But it added that its plans to divest its weight loss pill Alli have been delayed due to an interruption in supplies from Roche, which makes the active ingredient.

Belgium-based Omega is expected to continue manufacturing the products at a plant in Herrenberg, Germany, which it is also buying under the deal.

“Given the continued economic challenges across the Eurozone, I am pleased that we have been able to transact these assets at a good price for GSK,” said chief financial officer Simon Dingemans.

The firm remains in talks to sell off its remaining brands outside Europe and North America, it said in the statement.

GSK sold a range of non-prescription products in North America to Prestige for £426m in December, after failing in its initial plan to find a single global buyer.

Glaxo’s shares closed just 0.1 per cent higher at 1,431p yesterday.