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GSK creates new consumer healthcare business, Haleon

Haleon, whose brand portfolio will include Sensodyne toothpaste and Panadol painkillers, is the combination of the consumer health businesses of GSK and Pfizer

GSK

GSK has announced that it has approved a demerger of its customer brand into a new company, Haleon, paving the way for London’s largest stock market listing in a decade.

Shares in Haleon are scheduled to start trading on Monday 18 July, as GSK awaits a response for its application to the New York Stock Exchange.

The company had overwhelming support from investors, with 99.8% voting in favour of the move at a general meeting, with 46 people attending in person and another 99 attending virtually.

Each GSK investor will receive one share in Haleon for each share they own in the parent company, with the new FTSE 20 company expected to seek an enterprise valuation of as much as £45bn and an equity value of £33.1bn.

Haleon, whose brand portfolio will include Sensodyne toothpaste and Panadol painkillers, is the combination of the consumer health businesses of GSK and Pfizer.

Following the split, at least 54.5% of Haleon will be held by GSK shareholders, 13.5% by GSK itself and 32% by Pfizer.

In June, in an unexpected move, Pfizer announced it planned to exit its 32% ownership interest in Haleon, with the objective of ‘maximising value for Pfizer shareholders’. GSK had previously announced that Pfizer would retain its 32% stake and appoint two board members

Brian McNamara, who oversaw the joint venture when it was part of GSK, will lead the new company, and former Tesco chief executive Sir Dave Lewis will be chairman of the board.

The demerger – more than a year in the making, having first been proposed to investors in June 2021 – will enable GSK to focus on biopharmaceuticals, developing innovative vaccines and specialty medicines, while Heleon will provide an opportunity to invest in a focused portfolio of consumer health brands.

Last year, GSK turned down a £50bn offer from Unilever for the consumer business, stating that the multiple offers it had received from Unilever ‘fundamentally undervalued the Consumer Healthcare business and its future prospects’.

Ahead of the demerger, GSK unveiled its new brand identity, alongside renewed aims and strategy. The company’s website states the reimagined brand is driven by the need ‘to reflect our new purpose and growth ambitions [which] combine science, technology and talent, while retaining key elements of our heritage’.

Article by
Emily Kimber

8th July 2022

From: Sales, Marketing, Healthcare

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