NEW OWNER FOCUSES ON PENNEX PRIVATE LABEL

VERONA, Pa. -- Under the ownership of Rexall Sundown, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Pennex Laboratories is re-establishing itself as a supplier of quality private-label over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and health and beauty care products.ales and marketing of Pennex in March, said, "Pennex is a new company with an old name."Prior to joining Pennex, Jacobson served as vice president of Topco Associates, Skokie,

VERONA, Pa. -- Under the ownership of Rexall Sundown, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Pennex Laboratories is re-establishing itself as a supplier of quality private-label over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and health and beauty care products.

ales and marketing of Pennex in March, said, "Pennex is a new company with an old name."

Prior to joining Pennex, Jacobson served as vice president of Topco Associates, Skokie, Ill. He is a 10-year veteran in the private-label HBC business.

Rexall Sundown is providing Pennex with the "infrastructure both in personnel and in financial backing to turn the business around," said Jacobson.

The parent company's interest in Pennex is to capitalize on the fast-growing private-label segment. In looking at the private segment in Rexall Sundown's core business, vitamins, sales soared 21% to $160.3 million at food stores for the 12-month period ending May 31, 1994, according to Towne-Oller & Associates, New York. Private label represented 32.5% of all vitamin sales at food stores during that period.

In April, Sundown appointed Elliott Prillig, a pharmaceutical and medical device operations executive, to serve as Pennex's president.

A complete retooling of Pennex's 300,000-square-foot manufacturing facility has made the plant "100% process-validated" to meet FDA standards for quality in store-brand and private-label markets, said Jacobson.

Jacobson's said his goal is to increase Pennex's current $40 million in sales, and make the business profitable.

Pennex has identified analgesics, cough-and-cold remedies and antacids as growth categories that it will market. Jacobson said these three categories represent 60% to 70% of the health-and-beauty-care private-label business. They also are large profit centers for retailers.