J&J to Buy Pfizer's Consumer Healthcare Business for $16.6 Billion

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Johnson & Johnson Company (New Brunswick, NJ) agreed to buy the consumer healthcare business of Pfizer, Inc. (New York, NY) for $16.6 billion in cash.

Johnson & Johnson Company (J&J, New Brunswick, NJ, www.jnj.com) agreed tobuy the consumer healthcare business of Pfizer, Inc. (New York, NY, www.pfizer.com) for$16.6 billion in cash.

"This acquisition builds upon our broad base in health care productsand our leadership objectives in the consumer, pharmaceutical andmedical devices, and diagnostics markets," said William C. Weldon,J&J's chairman and CEO, in a company release. Pfizer's consumerhealthcare business includes personal care and over-the-counter (OTC)products such as "Zantac," "Sudafed," "Neosporin," and "Benadryl."Overall, the business posted 2005 sales of $3.9 billion. J&J alsowill acquire the US OTC switch rights to "Zyrtec" (cetirizine),Pfizer's once-a-day, nonsedating prescription antihistamine, uponpatent expiration.

Pfizer decided to sell the business following a review of the strategicoptions that the company had initiated in February. The deal isexpected to close by the end of 2006.

Pfizer also announced that during 2006 and 2007, it will purchase asmuch as $17 billion of the company's stock by using the net proceedsfrom the sale of its consumer healthcare business and cash from ongoingoperations.