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Report: Bristol-Myers to sell French over-the-counter drugs unit

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. is selling UPSA SAS, its French over-the-counter drugs unit, in a deal that could bring the U.S. pharmaceutical giant about €1.5 billion, Reuters reported, citing unnamed people close to the matter.

According to the sources, an auction process for the business will begin after the summer, the news outlet said.

UPSA, which Bristol-Myers acquired 24 years ago, sells over-the-counter medicines, including painkillers Dafalgan and Efferalgan. The unit generated 425 million in sales in 2017.

The business may attract interest from companies controlled by private equity firms, including Germany's Stada and French drugmaker Zentiva. Mylan NV and Procter & Gamble Co. may also make bids, Reuters cited the people as saying.

The New York-based company hired Deutsche Bank and Jefferies to assist with the sale, Reuters reported.