Pfizer to exit GSK joint venture after demerger

The Pfizer logo is seen at the entrance to Pfizer UK headquarters in Tadworth December 2, 2020. — Reuters pic

The Pfizer logo is seen at the entrance to Pfizer UK headquarters in Tadworth December 2, 2020. — Reuters pic

Wednesday, 01 Jun 2022 9:49 PM MYT

LONDON, June 1 — US drugs giant Pfizer will exit its consumer healthcare joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline after the unit is spun off next month, the British drugmaker said today.

GSK will list the healthcare division on the London stock market on July 18 as it looks to concentrate on the pharmaceutical business, it said in a statement.

The London-listed firm currently owns a majority 68 per cent of the unit, with Pfizer holding the remainder.

“Pfizer intends to exit its 32-per cent ownership interest in Haleon in a disciplined manner, with the objective of maximising value for Pfizer shareholders,” GSK said.

Covid jab maker Pfizer is seeking to pursue its focus on “innovative medicines and vaccines”, it noted.

The unit, which will be named Haleon after the demerger, makes products including Sensodyne toothpaste, pain relief drug Panadol and cold treatment Theraflu.

For its part, Glaxo will “monetise its holding in Haleon in a disciplined manner to further strengthen the company’s balance sheet”, it added.

The company is pressing ahead with the demerger after rejecting a bid worth £50 billion (RM275 billion) for the unit from consumer goods titan Unilever.

The announcement today came one day after GSK snapped up US biopharmaceutical firm Affinivax for up to US$3.3 billion (RM14 billion) as part of the overhaul.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based group specialises in vaccines for diseases including meningitis, pneumonia and bloodstream infections.

Glaxo last month also bought US group Sierra Oncology, a specialist in medicines for rare forms of cancer, for US$1.9 billion.

Chief executive Emma Walmsley is seeking to reshape Glaxo after she faced fierce investor criticism over the company’s delay in producing Covid jabs and treatments. — AFP


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