Reckitt Benckiser to spin-off heroin treatment drug in £3bn deal

RBP, based in the United States, makes up around 7 per cent of RB’s sales

Reckitt Benckiser,the maker of Nurofen tablets and Durex condoms, has announced plans to float its £3 billion heroin addiction treatment arm.

Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals (RBP) owns the Suboxone heroin addiction treatment. Its parent, Reckitt Benckiser, now called RB, said on Monday it would spin off the group within the next year to list as a separate entity – valued at around £3bn.

RBP, based in the United States, makes up around 7 per cent of RB’s sales. It has been under pressure after the launch of rival generic drugs and has sought to develop other drugs to offset the loss of sales.

It launched a film version of Suboxone, with patent protection until 2030, to replace the tablet version for which it began to lose patent protection in 2009. It has also created a nasal opioid overdose antidote, is developing an alcohol addiction drug called arbaclofen placarbil, and will look at treatments for cocaine overdose.

Shaun Thaxter, RBP’s chief executive, said the group has made good progress on its “pipeline, licensing and geographic opportunities” and plans to become a “global leader in the treatment of addiction”.

RB, the group behind Dettol disinfectant and Finish dishwasher tablets, announced the strategic review of RBP last year and plans to focus on its core consumer health, hygiene and home brands. Its chief executive, Rakesh Kapoor, said the separation of the group will “deliver significant long-term value creation”. He did not rule out a trade sale, which remains an option, alongside the plans to list, and he said RB may keep a stake in the new entity once it has listed. The new group will become a UK resident and registered entity.

The market reacted well to the news, though analysts at Jefferies called the news “paradise postponed” and “an anti-climax”, saying it had hoped for more “concrete plans”.

However, the Cillit Bang-to-Vanish giant also reported half-year results in line with expectations and the shares jumped 135p to 5,205p. Currency fluctuations hit the company but it said cost cutting had enabled it to meet targets.

Mr Kapoor said: “In the first half, despite currency headwinds, we managed 60 basis points gross margin improvement. … There is always juice in the lemon – you can always squeeze some out.”

It reported a 4 per cent rise in comparable sales in the first half, excluding the Suboxone business, and operating profit jumped 16 per cent to just over £1bn with second-quarter sales growth of 3 per cent.

Its consumer health business was particularly strong, with sales up 10 per cent; but its home-cleaning brands were weak, with organic growth down 1 per cent in the second quarter owing to “tougher market conditions”. RB pointed to some weak spots including its Airwick air freshener brand. It has been improving its Vanish cleaning label.

Regionally, the group improved in Russia, the Middle East and Africa, where sales were up 7 per cent, compared with analyst expectations of about 4 per cent.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Report Writer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...

MBDA UK Ltd: Indirect Procurement Category Manager

Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee