GSK Aspen sale raises pharma giant £429.5m

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) said this morning that it has completed the partial sale of its stake in Aspen Pharmacare, Africa's largest drug company, earning R7,059m (£429.5m) for the UK pharma firm. (Release)

The net proceeds of the transaction, which is for around six per cent of GSK's stake in Aspen, will be used for "general corporate purposes". The net profit on disposal won't be included in GSK's core operating profit results for this year. Net profit on the deal will not be included in core operating profit and core EPS in 2013.

Yesterday the company said it would sell up to one-third of its 19 per cent stake in Aspen - up to 28.2m shares - to institutional investors.

After the sale, GSK says it will still hold 56.5m ordinary shares in Aspen, representing 12.4 per cent of the issued share capital.

From the statement:

The close relationship between GSK and Aspen will not be affected by this transaction. GSK will retain a seat on Aspen's board and intends to remain a significant shareholder of Aspen. GSK has undertaken not to dispose of any further shares in Aspen for a period of six months following completion, subject to certain limited exceptions.