Pfizer sells stake in GSK’s consumer healthcare business after listing

  • GSK said in February that Pfizer would retain Haleon’s stake
  • Haleon set to list in London on July 18
  • GSK rejected Unilever’s £50bn Haleon bid

LONDON, June 1 (Reuters) – Pfizer (PFE.N) is considering selling its 32% stake in Haleon, its consumer healthcare business with British drugmaker GSK (GSK.L), after the company to be listed as an independent company in July, GSK said on Wednesday.

GSK is creating Haleon, which makes Sensodyne toothpaste and Advil painkillers, so it can focus on vaccines and prescription drugs. GSK last year rejected a 50 billion pound ($63 billion) bid for Haleon, saying it was undervaluing the company.

Pfizer has previously indicated it wants to sell its stake in Haleon, but GSK, which owns 68% of the world’s biggest consumer healthcare company, said in February the US drugmaker would retain its stake after an IPO. .

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A Pfizer spokesman said on Wednesday that the US company had always intended to sell its stake in Haleon over time.

GSK has asked the UK regulator to list Haleon on the London Stock Exchange on July 18 and said it plans to apply for listing on the New York Stock Exchange soon as well.

Pfizer, GSK and other current Haleon stakeholders have committed to a lock-up period through November so as not to jeopardize shares of the new independent company, GSK said.

Expectations for the consumer healthcare company’s market valuation are high after GSK rejected a £50 billion offer from Unilever (ULVR.L), which dropped its suit in January.

Should GSK secure a valuation of £50 billion or more, it would be the largest listing by market capitalization on the London Stock Exchange for at least two decades, excluding joint listings made via the Shanghai London Stock Project. Connect.

For comparison, mining and commodities trading company Glencore (GLEN.L) was valued at £36.7 billion when it listed in London in 2011.

MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

GSK also said in February that once Haleon listed as a separate company, Pfizer would appoint two members to its new board and the British drugmaker would waive its right of representation. Read more

For now, Brian McNamara, chief executive of GSK Consumer Healthcare, has been named chief executive of Haleon once it goes public, while GSK’s Tobias Hestler is the designated chief financial officer.

The Pfizer spokesperson said the company won the right to sit on the board of directors when the company was first announced several years ago and that, for now, Pfizer still has an interest. in Haleon.

“We cannot speculate on what happens when we sell our interest,” the spokesperson said.

Haleon was on track to deliver above-market mid-term annual organic revenue growth of 4% to 6%, GSK said.

Haleon’s closest competitors in the over-the-counter drug, vitamin and oral care market are Procter and Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) and Bayer.

Before the spin-off, Haleon’s holding company will pay dividends to GSK and Pfizer. GSK said it would receive cash proceeds of more than £7 billion on separation.

After the split, at least 54.5% of Haleon’s total issued ordinary share capital would be held by GSK shareholders and 6% would be held by GSK, the company said.

Post-split, GSK will focus on pharmaceuticals and vaccines and will no longer be able to rely on steady sales of consumer healthcare products to offset some of the unpredictability in drug development.

Under pressure from shareholders such as activist investor Elliot, GSK sought to shore up its drug pipeline.

It also made acquisitions, agreeing to buy cancer drug developer Sierra Oncology (SRRA.O) in a $1.9 billion deal and unveiling plans to pay up to $3.3 billion. dollars for vaccine developer Affinivax. Read more

($1 = 0.7933 pounds)

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Reporting by Natalie Grover in London and Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt; Additional reporting by Lucy Raitano in London; Editing by Josephine Mason, Edmund Blair and David Clarke

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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