Inflexion among suitors for Haleon’s Nicotinell anti-smoking aid


A leading private equity investor is among the suitors circling Nicotinell, the anti-smoking aid which has been earmarked for sale by its FTSE-100 owner.

Sky News has learnt that Inflexion, which has backed companies such as Goals Soccer Centres and Mountain Warehouse, is on a list of bidders in talks with Haleon about buying the brand.

City sources said this weekend that bidders were hoping to pay substantially less than an $800m price tag mooted in a report about the prospective sale last month.

The disposal of Nicotinell would come as smoking cessation products experience mixed fortunes.

Haleon, which was spun out of GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceuticals giant, last year, owns some of the world’s leading consumer healthcare products.

Its chief executive, Brian McNamara, wants to sell non-core brands in order to drive a more focused portfolio and pay down debt.

Nicotinell, which is sold in patch, gum and lozenge form, is said to be the second-largest nicotine replacement therapy product globally.

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It was unclear this weekend whether a carve-out of Nicotinell from its listed parent company would be complex.

Inflexion is understood to be vying with other buyout firms and strategic bidders for the brand.

Inflexion declined to comment.

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