3M Unloading Branded Pharmaceuticals Business

Manufacturer selling unit to three companies for $2.1 billion.

3M, the diversified manufacturer of such well-known products as Scotch Tape and Post-It notes, said Thursday it will sell its global branded pharmaceuticals business for about $2.1 billion.

3M said Graceway Pharmaceuticals will acquire its pharmaceutical operations in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America region for $875 million. Meda AB has agreed to acquire 3M’s pharmaceutical business in Europe for $857 million, and Ironbridge Capital and Archer Capital have agreed to acquire 3M’s pharmaceutical operations in the Asia Pacific region, including Australia and South Africa for $349 million.

3M said the agreements are the result of a review of strategic options for the branded pharmaceuticals business and its immune response modifier (IRM) platform that 3M announced in April. Under the agreements, the purchasers will acquire regional marketing and intellectual property rights for 3M’s branded pharmaceuticals, including Aldara, Difflam, Duromine, Tambocor, Maxair, Metrogel-Vaginal and Minitran. 3M’s Drug Delivery Systems Division will be a source of supply to the acquiring companies for the products.

There are about 1,050 employees in 3M’s Pharmaceuticals Division worldwide, and it's estimated that 70 percent of those employees will receive employment opportunities with the acquiring companies.

3M Health Care, one of 3M’s six major business segments, provides products and services to help health-care professionals improve the practice and delivery of patient care.

The deals are scheduled to close in the fourth quarter.

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