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Reckitt to sell E45 skincare brand to Karo Pharma for $268 million

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(Reuters) -Reckitt Benckiser said on Friday it plans to sell its E45 skincare brand and related sub-brands to Karo Pharma for 200 million pounds ($267.98 million), as the British consumer goods maker shifts focus to higher growth areas.

The Durex condom and Lysol disinfectant maker said the businesses generated a combined net revenue of 43 million pounds last year.

The Slough-based company has been trimming its portfolio to concentrate on high growth categories such as disinfectants and health care products that have seen a boom during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In February, Reckitt sold its Scholl footcare business to private equity firm Yellow Wood Partners, and a few months later signed a deal to sell its infant formula business in China for $2.2 billion to Primavera Capital Group.

Reuters had reported last year that the company was preparing to sell some non-core brands and was seeking out private equity bidders.

"As we shift from a brand-led to a category-led growth strategy, we are focusing on high growth categories with brands we can stretch into new places and spaces to support our medium-term growth ambitions, including 4%-6% growth in Health (business)," CEO Laxman Narasimhan said in a statement.

In a separate statement, Karo Pharma said the deal is structured as a put option agreement and when completed will scale up its operations in the United Kingdom and strengthen its position in the dermatology category.

Reckitt will provide service and manufacturing support to Karo for a limited time following completion of the deal, which is expected in the second quarter of 2022, Karo Pharma said in a statement.

No manufacturing sites are included as part of the deal and Karo intends to transfer production to a new third party contract manufacturing organization, the Stockholm-based healthcare company added.

($1 = 0.7463 pounds)

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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