Merck’s Consumer Brands Portfolio Could Fetch Up to $10B

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Merck & Co. Inc.’s (NYSE:MRK) plan to sell its portfolio of consumer brands is drawing a lot of attention. The portfolio, which includes household names like Coppertone sunscreen and Claritin allergy medicine, is expected to draw bids from health care industry players of more than $10 billion, according to sources who spoke with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

The company’s consumer-brands portfolio also includes Afrin, a nasal decongestant; MiraLAX, a constipation medicine; Lotrimin and Tinactin antifungal treatments; and the Dr. Scholl’s lineup of foot care products and insoles.

It’s rumored that Merck has already received several preliminary offers for its portfolio, the Journal reports, and will begin meeting with potential buyers next week. Final bids, sources said to the publication, will most likely be due at the end of the month.

In 2013, Merck reported global consumer-brand sales of $1.9 billion, which is approximately 4 percent of the company’s total revenue of around $44 billion. Claritin is the company’s biggest seller of the bunch, accounting for $471 million in sales last year, per the Wall Street Journal.

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