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Kodak Selling Sterling Winthrop Consumer Business for $2.9 Billion

August 29, 1994 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ Eastman Kodak Co. agreed today to sell its remaining Sterling Winthrop business, including nonprescription remedies such as Bayer aspirin, to health care giant SmithKline Beecham for $2.925 billion in cash.

The sale is among the latest deals in the consolidation of the health care industry, as companies have merged to gain more products and cut costs in an era of reforms that have cut deeply into profits. In another deal announced today, IVAX Corp., the world’s biggest generic drug distributor, said it will acquire rival Zenith Laboratories Inc. for $612.5 million.

For Kodak, its deal is part of the company’s previously disclosed plans to shed assets and concentrate on its core business of photography and imaging.

SmithKline Beecham PLC said the deal was designed to make it the world leader in nonprescription medicines.

Rochester-based Kodak previously had announced it was selling Sterling’s pharmaceutical business to Sanofi SA of France for $1.675 billion in cash and Sanofi’s interest in a consumer health products joint venture.

Both transactions are subject to regulatory review.

Sterling Winthrop’s global consumer health products business generated more than $1 billion in revenue in 1993. SmithKline already has a $2 billion consumer health products business.

The Sterling businesses going to SmithKline Beecham also include Panadol analgesics, Phillip’s milk of magnesia, Valda products for coughs and colds and Stri-Dex skin care treatments.

SmithKline Beecham, based in London with U.S. headquarters in Philadelphia, already markets products in some of those categories: Ecotrin analgesics, Tums antacid products, Contac cough and cold medicine and Oxy skin care products.

Kodak is also looking for buyers for the two divisions of its L&F Products business. L&F’s household products division makes Lysol disinfectant and Resolve carpet cleaner. Its do-it-yourself business sells products including Thompson’s water seal, Red-Devil paint and Formby’s furniture refinisher.

Announcement of today’s deal sent Kodak stock up $1.25 to $50.62 in active trading on the New York Stock Exchange. SmithKline’s U.S. shares were unchanged at $35.