Stiefel Labs May Consider Sale

Privately held skincare products maker reportedly considering selling itself for several billion dollars and has drawn interest from Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stiefel Laboratories Inc., a privately held skincare products maker, is reportedly considering selling itself for several billion dollars.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, said Friday that the Coral Gables, Fla., company had drawn intreest from Johnson & Johnson, Novartis AG and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

Stiefel's products include acne treatments and other skin creams, lotions, washes and vitamins. The Journal said Stiefel is seeking a price of $3 billion to $4 billion.

Stiefel did not immediately return calls seeking comment. A spokeswoman for GlaxoSmithKline had no comment, while Johnson & Johnson and Novartis both said they do not comment on "rumors."

Acquiring Stiefel would boost the dermatology offerings of any of the companies.

Johnson & Johnson sells Lubriderm moisturizer and Aveeno skin cream, while GlaxoSmithKline's products include Abreva cold sore medicine and Novartis makes the anti-itch treatment Desenex.

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