Sanofi Aventis to Buy Chattem

Merger will create the world's fifth largest consumer health company

French pharmaceutical group Sanofi-Aventis said Dec. 21 it was to acquire Chattem of the U.S. for $1.9 billion, creating the world's fifth largest consumer health care company.

"The acquisition of Chattem will be a significant milestone in Sanofi-Aventis' transformation strategy and will provide us with the ideal platform in the U.S. healthcare market, which represents 25% of the current worldwide opportunity," said Sanofi-Aventis chief executive Christopher Viehbacher.

Chattem, founded 130 years ago, is "a leading manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer healthcare products, toiletries and dietary supplements ... in the United States," a joint statement said. Its brands include itch relief cream Cortizone-10 and Selsun Blue dandruff shampoo.

The companies expecting the deal to be completed in the first quarter of 2010.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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