Investors eyeing up the Listerine brand

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pfizer Health care Colgate-palmolive

As Pfizer is currently in the process of reviewing bids for its
Listerine oral care brand, a Colgate executive says he believes the
brand would make a good fit to the company's portfolio.

Speaking at an investor conference in Paris, Colgate-Palmolive president Nigel Burton confirmed that the company was still interested in acquiring the brand, which Pfizer wants to sell on in an effort to concentrate on its mainstay pharmaceutical activities.

During the conference Burton described Listerine as a powerful global oral care equity, highlighting that it would sit well with the rest of the company's comprehensive oral care portfolio.

However, Colgate is expected to have keen competition, as GlaxoSmithKline was linked to an €11.6bn ($14.4bn) for Pfizer's entire Listerine-to-Sudafed consumer health care arm.

Other major players, including British retailer Boots and Johnson & Johnson are also said to be interested in the division, competition that is expected to push the bidding over the $15bn level.

Colgate had been excluded from this latest round of bidding, but it is thought that if its offer can top the current level, it might be back in the game. Following Burton's comments, it seems almost certain that the company is at least back in discussions over the deal.

Earlier in the month Colgate chief executive Rueben Mark had said that he would not overpay for Listerine and the division's other associated brands, particularly in view of the fact that the company was not well poised to move into the over-the-counter and pharmaceutical categories.

This leads financial experts to believe that Colgate may be partnering with another bidder in an effort to carve out the leading Listerine brand for itself and leave the other bidder with the remaining brands.

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