Glaxo Opts For Solo Navigation To Boost Control In Consumer Health Market
This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet & The Rose Sheet
After announcing the $13bn acquisition of Novartis' 36.5% share of their JV, GSK said its Horlicks nutritional beverage line and its consumer health subsidiary in India, the source of most Horlicks sales, are potential divestments. The firm also will consider selling other consumer health nutrition products.
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Glaxo's priority for its consumer business is regulatory approval, expected in the second half of 2019, of a JV with Pfizer announced in December so the segment will begin contributing meaningfully to GSK's growth. CEO Emma Walmsley says the JV plan with Pfizer is GSK's "most transformational announcement to date."
Big pharmas' agreement could put consumer health where Pfizer wants, entirely in its rear-view mirror, and points GSK toward what it wants, more research and development funding freed up for the pharmaceutical ingredient operations that are its chief revenue drivers. All-equity deal, giving GSK 68% control and expected to close in 2019 second half, also likely will boost investors' confidence in the firms as both have been dogged by pressure to sell, spin-off or otherwise divest their consumer businesses.
Reckitt and GSK withdraw from negotiating on potential deals for with Pfizer's consumer business, leaving slim chances Pfizer will receive an acceptable offer from other drug firms mentioned as potential suitors for the business, which it has valued at around $20bn. A spin-off could move to the fore.