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J&J Declines to Comment on U.S. Approval of Sanofi Deal

Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi declined to provide information on a transaction between the two companies that won the approval of U.S. antitrust regulators.

A deal with J&J, its McNeil-PPC, Inc. subsidiary that makes over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol and personal care products, and Sanofi was authorized by regulators, according to an early termination notice posted today on the Federal Trade Commission’s website. No details were given by the agency about the transaction.

“We have no additional information and do not comment on pending business development activities,” said Peggy Ballman, a spokeswoman for New Brunswick, New Jersey-based J&J, the world’s biggest maker of health-care products. Marisol Peron, a spokeswoman for Paris-based Sanofi, also declined to comment on the transaction.

“Sanofi certainly has interest in over-the-counter brands, but they’re a small player, especially in the U.S.,” Jeff Jonas, co-portfolio manager of the Gabelli Healthcare & Wellness Trust fund, said in an e-mail. “J&J is constantly reviewing its products/brands and divesting anything that doesn’t have good growth prospects or that they view as non-core.”

Jonas said he doesn’t have any specifics on the deal.

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