Procter & Gamble pays $4.2 bln for unit of Germany’s Merck

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German pharmaceutical and chemical company Merck says it has agreed to sell its global consumer health business to Procter & Gamble for 3.4 billion euros ($4.2 billion) in cash.

The deal means Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble, whose over-the-counter brands include Pepto-Bismol and NyQuil, acquires a business that saw 6 percent organic sales growth in 2015-2017.

P&G CEO David Taylor said that the company “liked the steady, broad-based growth” of the over-the-counter health care market and that the acquisition would bolster the company’s geographic reach and product portfolio.

Products include nutritional supplements for pregnant women, cod liver oil capsules and back pain balm.

Merck, based in Darmstadt, Germany, said it would use the money from the sale to reduce debt. Germany’s Merck is different from U.S-based Merck & Company, Inc.

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