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Expanding its global consumer healthcare OTC business, pharma major Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd has signed a definitive agreement with Haleon plc for the purchase of shares of Northstar Switzerland SARL, a Haleon Group company, to acquire its portfolio of consumer healthcare brands in the Nicotine Replacement Therapy category outside of the US.

The acquisition size is £500 million, including an upfront cash payment of £458 million and performance-based contingent payments of up to £42 million, payable in 2025 and 2026. The transaction is expected to close in the early fourth quarter this calendar year.

The operations will transition to Dr. Reddy’s in a phased approach to ensure successful business integration. The portfolio to be acquired consists of NRT brand Nicotinell and its local brand names Nicabate, Habitrol and Thrive in markets outside of the US.

The portfolio to be acquired consists of Nicotinell, a global leader in the NRT category with a footprint in over 30 countries in Europe, Asia including Japan, and Latin America.

“Nicotinell is the second-biggest brand globally (excluding the US) in the NRT category. It holds the first or second position in 14 of the top 17 global markets,” a company executive said.

Nicotinell is among the top 15 biggest brands among all OTC brands in Europe (excluding Russia and Italy), and ranks 32 among all OTC global brands (excluding the US). In calendar year 2023, the portfolio generated about £217 million in revenue.

NRT is recommended by the ‘World Health Organisation Model List of Essential Medicines’ for nicotine use disorders. It also played a key role in the WHO’s ‘Access Initiative for Quitting Tobacco’, launched in 2020, to help tobacco users quit to reduce the risk of severe outcomes from Covid-19 infections.