Earlier owned by Geoffrey Manners, Forhans had its heydays in the 1970s. It came to the Wyeth-stable, when the two companies merged in July 2002.

Our Bureau

Mumbai, May 16

IT may have once occupied a pride of place in your bathroom cabinet. But the Forhans brand of toothpaste has been recently sold by multinational pharma company Wyeth to John Oak Remedies Private Ltd, an Indian company. All eyes will now be on Anne French, the other non-core brand with Wyeth.

In a departure from its original plan to sell the brand Forhans, business and related assets, Wyeth recently said that only it's brand had been sold for Rs 3.6 crore. "The terms of the previous plan were not acceptable and had to be renegotiated," a company spokesperson told Business Line, on why the previous plan fell through.

Earlier owned by Geoffrey Manners, Forhans had its heydays in the 1970s. It came to the Wyeth-stable, when the two companies merged in July 2002.

As Wyeth focused on its core pharma business, Forhans was finally put on the block.

Commenting on the fate of Anne French, another non-core brand that came into the Wyeth portfolio from Geoffrey Manners, the Wyeth official said that the brand was "performing well in India".

Despite negotiations over a period of time, no agreement was possible on the terms and conditions of the Forhans sale and, hence, it was mutually agreed not to proceed with the sale and purchase of the brand, business and assets.

After further negotiations, Wyeth's board subsequently approved that it enters into a new transaction with the same party for sale of the Forhan's brand and the grant of a non-exclusive licence of the know-how for manufacture of Forhan's toothpaste and toothpowder.

No details were, however, available on John Oaks and the company's plans for the brand.

Meanwhile, a total of 260 people have availed of the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) at Wyeth's plants in Valsad and Nashik. About 40 people in Nashik and 220 people in Valsad have availed of the scheme, the company official said.

Further, Wyeth has assigned the leasehold interest in the Nashik land and the vacant buildings and structures standing thereon to Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd for a consideration of 2.5 crore, the official said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 17, 2005)
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