Warner Chilcott Plc agreed to buy the pharmaceutical business of Procter & Gamble Co for $3.1 billion, winning an auction that drew few bidders.

The unit had attracted interest from some private equity firms but very few pharmaceutical bidders, sources familiar with the auction said.  Many of the key products within P&G’s pharma unit, such as the overactive bladder drug Enablex, already face stiff competition from a wide range of rival drugs, while other products are close to their patent expiration. Other pharmaceutical companies are struggling enough with these problems without buying a business that echo these issues, the sources said.

As a result, Warner Chilcott was essentially in a bidding war alone. Under terms of the deal, Warner Chilcott will pay $3.1 billion in cash.  It will finance the deal, and restructure some of its existing debt, through $4 billion in funding it received from a syndicate of banks, sources said.

Still, Warner Chilcott said the deal will immediately boost earnings and will bring “compelling” financial dynamics, including future generation of substantial cash flow. From P&G’s perspective, the deal will allow it to focus more clearly on its consumer health care products and give it added flexibility for potential stock buybacks.