Glaxo Gets European Approval for Stiefel Purchase

GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C. won European Union approval for its $2.9 billion purchase of closely held Stiefel Laboratories Inc., according to the union's Web site.

The companies will combine their dermatology businesses, creating a unit with annual sales of $1.5 billion and 8 percent of the world market for prescription skin treatments, Glaxo has said.

The London company, which has major operations in the Philadelphia region, also said it could pay an additional $300 million, depending on Stiefel's performance, and will assume $400 million in debt.

Stiefel, based in Duluth, Ga., makes Soriatane, a pill to treat severe psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disease that can cause red scaly patches on the skin.

Glaxo uses the active ingredient in its asthma medicine Advair in a cream, sold under the names Cutivate and Flutivate, also sold to patients with psoriasis.

Glaxo sells about $550 million worth of prescription skin products a year.

The Federal Trade Commission cleared the deal on June 2.



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