Galderma Agrees to Buy Spirig to Gain Skin-Care Treatments

Galderma SA, the Swiss maker of Cetaphil skin creams, agreed to buy Spirig Pharma AG to gain dry-skin and sun-protection treatments and said it expects to grow faster than the market.

Spirig, which makes a range of products that it says prevent precancerous conditions, generated sales of 98.4 million Swiss francs ($106 million) last year, Lausanne-based Galderma said today. Financial details of the purchase weren’t disclosed. Spirig said last month it was evaluating strategic partnerships.

Galderma, founded in 1981, is owned by L’Oreal SA (OR) and Nestle SA. (NESN) The Cetaphil product line includes cleansers, moisturizers and sunscreens for sensitive skin. It also sells Azzalure, a Botox competitor manufactured by Ipsen SA. Galderma had sales of 1.6 billion francs last year.

The global market for medical skin treatments is growing at a 4 percent pace, said Humberto Antunes, Galderma’s chief executive officer. “We expect it to continue to grow at the same rate and we will grow faster than the market,” Antunes said in an interview in Egerkingen, Switzerland, without providing details.

Galderma also continues to scout for further acquisition opportunities even as sales at existing divisions grow, he said. “If the inventions happen outside and make sense, we’ll be ready,” Antunes said.

Galderma gets about half of its revenue from prescription treatments, while over-the-counter products account for about 27 percent of its business and so-called aesthetic and corrective products bring in 23 percent of sales. The company is benefiting from changing demographics as people live longer, Antunes said.

“With an aging population, there’ll be more need for dermatology” products, he said.

The Spirig transaction is expected to close in early 2013. Credit Suisse Group AG advised Galderma, while Kurmann Partners advised Spirig.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dermot Doherty in Geneva at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at

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