According to a Reuters report, private equity companies Cinven and Advent have teamed up to table a joint bid for Nestle Skin Health, which sources believe values the company at CHF7bn (US$7bn). It is reported that other private equity companies, including Blackstone, KKR and Carlyle, are likewise poised to make bids, while sources also say that Merz Pharma is interested and looking for private equity partners.
In terms of the timeline, Nestle’s Board of Directors decided to explore strategic options for the skin health business in September 2018, after concluding that future growth opportunities lay increasingly outside the group’s strategic scope. Information memos on the sale, being run by Credit Suisse and Evercore, are expected to be sent by the end of this month and first-round bids are likely to be submitted in early March.
Nestle Skin Health divides its portfolio into two units – its range of largely Rx “medical solutions” marketed under the Galderma umbrella and its “consumer solutions”. Differin Gel is one example of a Galderma Rx skin care medicine which has been switched to OTC status, gaining FDA approval in 2016 and launched in the US in early 2017. Despite being the first genuinely new allopathic treatment in the acne category, Differin sales only reached US$17mn in the brand’s first full year since switch, leading Nestle to revamp the brand in late 2017 with line extensions and packaging updates.
Nestle Skin Health’s key consumer brands are Cetaphil, Loceryl and Benzac, as well as the home treatment acne programme Proactiv. Cetaphil is its key OTC brand, according to DB6, thanks to its expansive range and wide skin care positioning, from eczema & psoriasis to acne and anti-itch. Cetaphil Dermacontrol and Cetaphil Restoraderm are both well-established in the US market, while Cetaphil also has a strong presence in Australia, Brazil, Germany and several Middle Eastern countries.
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