* Novartis must give up rights to three medicinal creams
* Fougera will be folded into Sandoz generics unit
WASHINGTON, July 16 Swiss drugmaker Novartis has won U.S. antitrust approval to close its purchase of generic dermatology products maker Fougera.
The Federal Trade Commission said on Monday that as a condition of approval, Novartis agreed to give up the rights to market three topical skin care medicines made by Tolmar Inc and to cancel a deal for a fourth.
Novartis said in May that it would buy Fougera for $1.53 billion from a consortium of private equity funds led by Nordic Capital, DLJ Merchant Banking and Avista Capital Partners.
The three generic creams that Novartis must give up marketing rights to are a topical solution to treat psoriasis, a local anesthetic, and a cream to treat rosacea, which causes chronically red skin, the FTC said.
In addition to generic dermatology products, Fougera also has a branded specialty pharmaceuticals business. It had 2011 sales of $429 million.
Fougera, based in Melville, New York, will be folded into Novartis' Sandoz generics unit.
A spokeswoman for Novartis was not immediately available to comment on Monday.
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