Ireland-based Perrigo has signed an agreement to acquire Belgium’s over-the-counter (OTC) drug-maker Omega Pharma, for €3.6bn ($4.5bn).
The transaction includes the purchase of Omega’s equity for €2.48bn and the assumption of €1.1bn in debt.
The acquired business is said to increase Perrigo’s OTC product offering and expand the distribution through a well-established platform.
Perrigo president Joseph Papa said: "The combination of these two great companies accelerates Perrigo’s international growth strategy, substantially diversifies our business streams and establishes a durable leadership position in the European OTC marketplace.
"We believe this strategic transaction will enhance shareholder value by further strengthening our industry-leading revenue and cash flow growth profile, and by expanding market opportunities.
"Omega brings a leading OTC product portfolio, European capabilities, and a highly experienced management team to support Perrigo’s continued growth."
Omega’s portfolio comprises 2,000 products, including cough and cold, skincare, pain relief, weight management, and gastrointestinal treatment brands.
During the twelve months before 30 September, Omega reported $1.6bn revenue, making it the fifth largest company within the European OTC market.
Omega’s commercial presence is in 35 countries, in addition to Europe, said Perrigo.
Subject to customary regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2015.
Omega Pharma CEO Marc Coucke said: "Since our founding in 1987, we relentlessly executed our pharmacist-focused growth strategy across Europe. We successfully developed a top OTC product portfolio and a leading European commercial infrastructure."
Perrigo develops and markets OTC and generic prescription (Rx) pharmaceuticals, nutritional products and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API).
Image: Photograph of the exterior of Perrigo’s Eastern Avenue office. Photo: courtesy of Perrigo company.