Jan 30 Johnson and Johnson is looking to
sell most of its U.S. feminine hygiene business, as it seeks to
exit low-growth areas, but wants to keep its K-Y brand, said
three people familiar with the process.
The diversified healthcare giant, whose products range from
prescription drugs and medical devices to baby shampoo and
mouthwash, wants to unload its Stayfree and Carefree pads and
o.b. tampons, said the people, who declined to be identified as
the matter is not public.
A spokeswoman for J&J, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey,
declined to comment.
Other big players in the U.S. feminine hygiene pads business
are Procter & Gamble's Always brand and Kimberly-Clark's
brand. But J&J's brands might be a better fit for
private equity players, the sources said.
Swander Pace Capital, which operates a portfolio of niche
consumer brands called Insight Pharmaceuticals, is a likely
acquirer, the sources said, since the firm bought J&J's e.p.t
pregnancy test business in 2011.
Another possible suitor might be Brynwood Partners, owner of
Zest soaps and Soft & Dri deodorants, the sources said.
Swander Pace and Brynwood could not be reached for a
J&J's women's health unit had global sales of $1.6 billion
in 2012. The business is far more popular outside the United
States, and generates 80 percent of its revenue abroad.
J&J has been looking to sell or spin off nonperforming
assets, including its $2 billion clinical test business.
More broadly, drugmakers are shedding businesses and cutting
costs due to overseas price controls and pressure on payments
from insurers and the government. Pfizer Inc is spinning
off its animal health products business, Zoetis, in an IPO this