INGELHEIM, Germany, NEW YORK and LUGANO, Switzerland, Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Boehringer Ingelheim, the Germany-based pharmaceutical company, and IdeaSphere Inc., the New York-based healthcare company, specializing in vitamins, minerals, nutrition products and herbs, today announced the sale of Boehringer Ingelheim's Natural Healthcare company and business Pharmaton SA (Lugano) to IdeaSphere. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"IdeaSphere has been carefully selected as a result of a diligent process and will be the ideal partner to further develop Pharmaton. Boehringer Ingelheim will continue to strengthen its Consumer Healthcare business by further building up the flagship and international core brands, e.g., Dulcolax, Buscopan and Antistax," said Dr Alessandro Banchi, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors at Boehringer Ingelheim and responsible for Marketing and Sales. "Both Pharmaton and IdeaSphere have a common strategic vision and core competencies in the development, production and marketing of natural health and multivitamin products," Banchi said. "IdeaSphere's commitment supports the sustainability of the Lugano site and opens future growth opportunities for its management and employees."

"We are glad to seize the opportunity to further strengthen and expand our international health care business while adding premium brands to our portfolio of products," Mark Fox, President & Chief Operating Officer of IdeaSphere said. "The acquisition of Pharmaton helps broaden our product portfolio towards new target audiences. It complements not only our geographical strength in North America with attractive market positions but also provides access to other strategic markets for IdeaSphere in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia. Moreover, both of our companies emphasize science-based medicines."

"We are excited about the broad-based global collaborative partnership we have begun with Boehringer Ingelheim for the creation of an international, science-based, healthy lifestyle center of excellence and Natural Health franchise," Fox announced, to establish Pharmaton as their platform for further expansion. "IdeaSphere will endeavor to preserve the continuity of Boehringer Ingelheim's values in integrity and innovation in research and science, and transform Pharmaton into a truly global leader in the health and wellness sector. We have the unique opportunity to cross-fertilize the scientific heritage of Pharmaton with the dynamic characteristics of an entrepreneurial organization, our access to scientific opinion-leaders from academia and heath education through our publications."

Dr Eros Ceppi, Managing Director of Pharmaton SA, commented on the transaction, saying that Pharmaton will be gaining a strong partner in the further development of the Pharmaton product portfolio and will be complemented by IdeaSphere's product portfolio. "Our partnership with IdeaSphere will give us new momentum," Ceppi said. "There will be new upside opportunities for the site and its employees, and considerable synergistic potential."

All three parties emphasized the further development and expansion of Pharmaton as a business and company. Synergistic effects would not come through downsizing or cost cutting, but by market expansion and a complementary product portfolio. The Lugano location would be further strengthened by adding new capacities to establish it as a center of excellence for R&D, Manufacturing and Marketing of Natural Health & Multivitamin Products.

IdeaSphere will take over the Pharmaton business and brands in their entirety. Both companies agreed about a cooperation to toll manufacture specific products of the respective company. To facilitate the transfer of the business, Boehringer Ingelheim will continue to distribute Pharmaton products during a transitional period.

Company Information
About Boehringer Ingelheim:
Boehringer Ingelheim is a globally operating, independent corporation committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing drugs for human and veterinary medicine. For more than 100 years, its goal has been to secure and maintain independence by means of continuous growth.

The Boehringer Ingelheim group, with 143 subsidiaries in 47 countries across the world and a total of almost 37,500 employees, is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. With its activities focused on Human Pharmaceuticals and Animal Health, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of almost 9.5 billion Euro in 2005.

A family-owned company founded in 1885 and headquartered in Ingelheim am Rhein, Boehringer Ingelheim can look back on a long history of successful pharmaceutical innovations and product launches.

In the business year 2005, Boehringer Ingelheim spent more than 1.3 billion euro on research and development, about one fifth of net sales in its largest business segment Prescription Medicines. The company's research and development activities and production and distribution centres are spread across the entire globe.

About IdeaSphere, Inc:
IdeaSphere is an innovative global company focused on delivering healthy lifestyle solutions to a broad spectrum of individuals. With more than 1,500 consumer-focused, science-based, content-driven nutrition products across a range of innovative formulations, IdeaSphere is an emerging leader in the health and wellness sector. IdeaSphere is committed to incorporating the latest medical discoveries and meticulously researched ingredients into trusted and time-tested products. The Company's portfolio of global brands includes Twinlab(R), which includes the Fuel Line of sports and nutritional supplements; Ultra Harvest(R), a premium food-based line of vitamins and minerals; Nature's Herbs(R); Alvita Teas(R); Rebus Publishing(R); Metabolife(R); and Dr. Weil Supplements(R). For more information, visit www.ideasphereinc.com .

About Pharmaton SA:
Pharmaton SA was founded in Lugano, Switzerland, in 1942 and has established itself as a center of excellence for the research, development and manufacture of premium multivitamin/mineral formulas and plant-based pharmaceuticals, for the maintenance and increase of physical and mental well-being, vitality and performance. Pharmaton employs a staff of around 200 collaborators and has committed itself to the promotion of self-responsible, natural health care. Its world-wide established and scientifically proven products are available in pharmacies, drugstores and healthfood shops in more than 100 countries. The core brands are Pharmaton(R) (capsules, caplets and effervescent tablets), and Pharmaton(R) Kiddi(R) (syrup, chewable tablets and effervescent tablets).
For more information, please visit www.pharmaton-sa.ch .