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GSK teams up with Pfizer to announce major changes to business

GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) and Pfizer Inc. (PFE) have decided to combine their consumer health businesses in an all-equity transaction that is expected to close in the second half of 2019. GSK will own 68% of the joint venture, which the companies plan to spin off within three years of deal closure.

The combined annual sales from the consumer health units of both companies are estimated at over $12 billion, and the new JV is expected to have a market share that is significantly higher than its industry peers. It is estimated that the JV will provide annual cost savings of $632 million by 2022.

The deal with Pfizer is expected to benefit GSK’s adjusted EPS and free cash flow in the first year after completion. After completing the Pfizer deal, GSK plans to split its business into two units within three years.

One unit will focus on prescription medicines and vaccines while the other, formed by the spin-off of the consumer health business, will focus on over-the-counter (OTC) products. OTC products are said to be stable revenue sources while prescription medicines are likely to face volatility.

GSK reorganization gains steam with Tesaro buyout, sale of Asia unit

Although jobs are likely to be impacted by these changes, there are opportunities for cost savings across various parts of the business. This is a significant change for GSK under the leadership of CEO Emma Walmsley who took charge a year ago.

GSK has struck a number of deals this year, including an agreement to buy partner Novartis’ stake in their consumer healthcare JV for $13 billion. This month, GSK agreed to buy Massachusetts-based drug maker Tesaro for $5.1 billion. GSK also recently agreed to sell its nutrition business in India to Unilever for around $4 billion.

As of 1 pm ET, GSK’s stock was up 2.4% while Pfizer’s stock was up 0.73%.


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