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PFIZER SIGNS DEFINITIVE AGREEMENT TO SELL COTY UNIT TO BENCKISER; BENCKISER PLANS TO BUILD ON COTY'S LEADING BRANDS

 PFIZER SIGNS DEFINITIVE AGREEMENT TO SELL COTY UNIT TO BENCKISER;
 BENCKISER PLANS TO BUILD ON COTY'S LEADING BRANDS
 NEW YORK, May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Coty fragrance and cosmetics business for $440 million to Joh. A. Benckiser GmbH. The transaction is expected to close no later than the end of June.
 "We believe this transaction serves the best interests of our shareholders, the people of Coty and Pfizer," said William C. Steere Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer. "We are receiving a fair price for Coty, while also providing Coty employees with expanded opportunities as part of a major global consumer goods company with a strategic focus in fragrances and cosmetics. And, over the longer term, this action will benefit Pfizer by allowing our management team to focus more attention on the business strategy for our main health care businesses.
 "A key component of that strategy is to keep -- and build -- the rest of our consumer products business, which is based on over-the- counter medications and includes such prominent brand names as Ben-Gay, Visine, Desitin, Unisom and other market leaders. We are fully committed to this business, which will offer very attractive opportunities, particularly for OTC applications of pharmaceutical compounds.
 "Under Pfizer's ownership," Steere added, "Coty became a leader in the U.S. fragrance industry with a valuable portfolio of brands and a strong distribution network. But, at this point, Coty and its employees will be better served by a strategic buyer. With Benckiser's commitment to being a leader in the U.S. fragrance and cosmetics market, Coty will be in a stronger position to capitalize on its potential."
 The impact, if any, of this transaction on Pfizer Inc.'s 1992 financial results will be disclosed at the time this transaction closes in June.
 Thomas V. Bonoma, executive vice president of Benckiser, commented, "Coty is a valuable addition to our operations. We have grown to be a truly international consumer products company by acquiring and building on strong brand names. Coty brings us a powerful array of additional brands to complement our existing lines of mass market and selective fragrance and cosmetics products in the U.S., and an impressive distribution network.
 "Moreover, Coty's highly profitable business will give us the critical mass to be a major force in fragrances and cosmetics in the U.S., the most important consumer market in the world. Coty has a bright future as a member of our corporate family."
 Coty, a unit of Pfizer's Consumer Products Group, is a leading marketer of both men's and women's fragrances in mass merchandise outlets and better drug stores in North America with about $280 million in sales in 1991.
 Among Coty's most successful women's fragrances are Emeraude, Exclamation, Lady Stetson, L'Effleur, Sand & Sable and Wild Musk. It has an important position in men's fragrances, with such leading brand names as Stetson and Preferred Stock. The company's cosmetic brands include Airspun loose face powder and Coty '24' long-wearing lipstick.
 Benckiser, with its headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany, has operating companies in more than 20 counties. Globally, Benckiser competes in the household products, fragrances and cosmetics businesses. Benckiser Consumer Products, based in Danbury. Conn., sells such brands as ElectraSol dishwasher detergent and Cling Free Fabric Softener. The company recently acquired Quintessence, the producer of Jovan fragrances, Aspen, adidas and Dare; and through its Lancaster USA beauty products subsidiary markets Lancaster, Davidoff, Joop! and Germaine Monteil cosmetics and fragrances.
 Pfizer Inc. is a research-based, diversified health care company with global operations. The company reported sales of approximately $6.95 billion for 1991.
 -0- 5/4/92
 /CONTACT: A.A. Biesada, 212-573-2055, or Rick Honey, 212-573-2051, both of Pfizer/
 (PFE) CO: Pfizer Inc. ST: New York IN: HOU SU: TNM


CK-TS -- NY029 -- 5922 05/04/92 10:14 EDT
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Date:May 4, 1992
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