From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

Glaxo still owns Alli, Aiken facility

GlaxoSmithKline’s drug plant in Aiken – where they make Alli, Sominex and Beano – still belongs to Glaxo, despite the impending sale of more than a dozen over-the-counter drug brands to a New York company.

Prestige Brands Holdings didn’t buy the rights to Alli, nor the place that makes it, so the Aiken plant is still up for sale. Glaxo has been trying to sell off a grouping of drugs since April.

Prestige will be paying $660 million to acquire 17 of the drugs that Glaxo makes, products such as Goody’s, Beano, Ecotrin, Fiber Choice and Tagamet.

The global rights to Orlistat, which is marketed as the fat-blocking drug Alli, is still in the sale process.

Sarah Spencer, a Glaxo spokeswoman in London, said the Aiken plant will continue to make Beano and Tagamet, but as a third- party producer for Prestige Brands. The companies have to go through the legal process, which should wrap up in the next six months.

Glaxo officials said they are selling off the brands to simplify their consumer drug business. Prestige officials said they are buying them because they see dollar signs.

Prestige is best known for making Clear Eyes, Compound W, Efferdent, Spic and Span and Pedia­care.

The Aiken plant has 210 employees. It also manufactures Nicorette Nicotine Lozenges, Contac, Feosol and Vivarin for Glaxo, but those products aren’t being sold off.

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