GSK Grabs Derma Firm for $2.9 Billion

Apr 22, 2009
By Pharmaceutical Executive

GlaxoSmithKline announced on Monday that it would purchase the total share capital of Stiefel Laboratories for $2.9 billion cash. Stiefel is a big name in the dermatology world, touting 30 subsidiaries, six manufacturing plants, an internal R&D system, and a network of approximately 3,500 global associates.

“This deal reflects the strategy that we’ve been speaking to for the last year, since Andrew Witty took over as CEO, which is to make targeted acquisitions that we feel support our core business, diversify our risk, and increase our growth prospects,” GSK spokesperson Sarah Alspach told Pharm Exec on Monday. “We feel this deal will deliver long term value and the two businesses really compliment one another as far as GSK’s existing dermatological products.”

The prescription dermatological market is highly fragmented, so the leading 20 companies account for less than 58 percent of the total market share. In 2007, the prescription dermatology market was valued at $11.7 billion, a 10 percent increase from 2006.

GSK is acquiring some very strong brands in dermatology specialty products, including Duac, for acne; Olux E, for dermatitis; and Soriatane, for severe psoriasis. GSK’s key dermatology brands include: Bactroban, Cutivate and recently launched Altabax—earning a combined $900 million in 2008. GSK’s prescription dermatology products brought in about $550 million in sales last year.

“Along with adding hundreds of marketed dermatology products, this deal will increase the value of Stiefel’s unparalleled dermatology pipeline by expanding the customer base to which we will be able to offer these products,” stated Stiefel CEO Charles W. Stiefel in a release.

The deal is expected to close by the third quarter of 2009, and GSK is now faced with the task of integrating the two businesses led by the president of GSK North America with representatives from both companies. Three executives of Stiefel are relocating to Research Triangle Park, NC, to assist with the integration.