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Thornton & Ross acquires Opticrom eye drops from Sanofi UK


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Thornton & Ross is all set to expand its consumer healthcare offering by acquiring the well-established Opticrom eye-drops brand from Sanofi in the UK.

Opticrom forms part of a wider transaction between Thornton & Ross’ parent group, STADA, and Sanofi for eight local consumer healthcare brands across several countries, including Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Spain and the UK. The transaction will be financed with a combination of cash on balance sheet and existing facilities, and is scheduled to close in the fourth quarter of 2023, subject to customary approvals of relevant regulatory authorities.

Opticrom Allergy 10ml bottle and 20 single doses for itchy, watery, red and inflamed eyes can be found behind the pharmacy counter, while Opticrom Hayfever 10ml bottle is available to purchase via self-selection to soothe and relieve eye symptoms of hayfever.
These non-prescription medicines contain 20 mg/1ml sodium cromoglicate (2.0% w/v) and offer relief within 2 minutes.

“Acquiring the rights to Opticrom from Sanofi further strengthens Thornton & Ross and STADA’s position as a leading supplier of consumer healthcare brands in the UK. We look forward to integrating Opticrom into our extensive sales, marketing and distribution network and to providing targeted support for the brand whilst ensuring business continuity and good service for our customers,” commented Thornton & Ross / STADA Head of UK & Mid-sized European markets Rudolf Baer.

Adding Opticrom as an established over-the-counter brand further rounds out Thornton & Ross’ extensive consumer healthcare offering to its retail partners and their customers. The UK-based manufacturer is already a significant partner in therapeutic categories such as cough and cold with Covonia and Tixylix; and dermatology with Cetraben, Eurax, Flexitol, Metanium, Nizoral and Savlon. Other category-leading brands include the comprehensive Care range, Hedrin head-lice treatments, and Zoflora disinfectants.

Opticrom forms part of a basket of consumer brands that STADA has acquired from Sanofi across several countries. These include: Antistax for pain relief and tiredness in legs; the allergy eye drops Lomudal; Omnivit vitamins; and the nasal hygiene spray Physiomer. Further, the two painkillers AAS and Dolalgial, as well as Bila-Git for gallbladder complaints. 

“We are pleased to continue our collaboration with Sanofi. This acquisition further strengthens STADA as a top-four player in Europe’s consumer healthcare market and supports our growth acceleration along our purpose of “Caring for People’s Health as a Trusted Partner,” commented STADA’s CEO, Peter Goldschmidt.

“As a broad-based European player with a strong presence in local markets, STADA is a go-to partner in consumer healthcare,” Goldschmidt highlighted. “The brands being acquired, and their geographic presence, are well aligned and synergistic with the organic activities in STADA’s core countries.”

STADA’s European Head Stephan Eder outlined: “This acquisition is the next step towards being the leader in local market brands. STADA’s extensive sales, marketing and distribution network throughout Europe, along with our long-established partnerships with pharmacists, will enable the group to grow these brands by also developing additional offerings. By further developing these well-known brands, we are strengthening our compelling and comprehensive offering to customers across our three strategic pillars: Consumer Healthcare, Specialty and Generics in key, predominantly Western European countries.”

STADA’s acquisition of further consumer brands from Sanofi is the latest example of the implementation of an ongoing successful business-development strategy. This was preceded by a transaction for 16 brands from Sanofi in 2021, as well as an agreement with Sanofi about the distribution of Sanofi’s consumer healthcare portfolio in 10 countries in Central Asia in 2022. Furthermore, STADA previously took over 15 well-established consumer healthcare brands from GSK across more than 40 countries and multiple therapeutic areas in 2020. STADA also in 2020 strengthened its portfolio of vitamin, mineral and supplement (VMS) products by acquiring Czech healthcare company Walmark, which has an international footprint.



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