GSK spin-off to create consumer healthcare giant

GSK spin-off to create consumer healthcare giant

GSK spin-off to create consumer healthcare giant

British drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline today demerges its newly-named consumer healthcare unit Haleon, resulting in what is set to be London’s largest new stock market listing in more than a decade.

The new company - owning brands including Sensodyne toothpaste, pain relief drug Panadol and cold treatment Theraflu - is set for a valuation of about $47.4 billion when it begins trading on the London stock market, according to Bloomberg.     

The major strategy shift by GSK chief executive Emma Walmsley comes after she has faced intense activist shareholder pressure over the company’s delays in producing COVID jabs and treatments.

“This will be the largest London stock market listing in a decade, with the new company becoming a big beast with a new skin in the consumer goods world,” said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

It is set to be the capital’s biggest listing since Swiss mining giant Glencore was valued at 38 billion pounds on entry in 2011.

GSK, which owns 68 percent of Haleon, plans to retain six percent of the group following the spin-off.

U.S. pharmaceutical titan Pfizer has said it plans to sell its 32-percent minority stake.GSK at the start of the year rejected a 50 billion pound bid for the unit from consumer goods titan Unilever.

Alongside the demerger, GSK is expanding further into the field of vaccines, having in May snapped up U.S. biopharmaceutical firm Affinivax for up to $3.3 billion.    

Also this year, the British company spent $1.9 billion on U.S. group Sierra Oncology, a specialist in medicines for rare forms of cancer.