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GSK sells BC, Goody's and other brands

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GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to sell 17 over-the-counter medicines, including two headache powders invented in North Carolina, for $660 million in cash.

The British pharmaceutical giant, which has its North American headquarters in Research Triangle Park, announced in February that it was intent on selling some "non-core" brands to raise money and enable it to focus on faster-growing products.

The products are being sold to Prestige Brands Holdings, the New York company whose brands include Chloraseptic, Clear Eyes, PediaCare, Luden's, Efferdent and Dramamine.

BC, a headache medicine formulated in a Durham pharmacy in 1906, and Goody's, which was invented in Winston-Salem  in the 1930s, are among the products Prestige is acquiring.

Among the other brands sold are Beano, Ecotrin, Fiber Choice,Sominex and Tagamet. The 17 brands collectively accounted for about $210 million in sales last year.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be completed in the first half of 2012.

GSK said that the net cash proceeds from the transaction, about $375 million, will be distributed to shareholders.

GSK still has brands that generated sales of about $620 million last year up for sale.

GSK has 3,800 workers in RTP and 600 at its manufacturing plant in Zebulon. GSK's consumer products division is based in Pittsburgh, and the company previously said the sale wouldn't have an impact on its Triangle operations.

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About the blogger

David Ranii has been a business reporter at The News & Observer since 1993. Over the years he has covered information technology, banking, insurance, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, media businesses and real estate. Contact him at 919-829-4877 or e-mail him.