GlaxoSmithKline chiefs said today they are lining up a July spin off for the firm’s consumer health division Haleon, as they remain positive that they can shrug off market volatility and float the business as planned.
Speaking to reporters today GSK boss Emma Walmsley said she was “extremely confident” of the firm’s timeline for a demerger and the firm was working hard to press ahead with floating the firm this summer.
Haleon’s floatation is expected to be the biggest listing on the London Stock Exchange in a decade.
The nature of the listing as a demerger from GSK rather than a normal initial public offering (IPO) will make it less susceptible to market turbulence, GSK’s chief financial officer Iain Mackay told reporters.
The plans to press ahead with the listing came as Walmsley strongly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and said that she hoped a resolution can be reached as quickly as possible.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent markets into a spin over the past few days with analysts already predicting a spate of delayed listings.
Haleon chief executive designate Brian McNamara laid out his vision for the firm to investors today, saying that the firm would prioritise the growth of the new spun off firm by reinvesting heavily in the new business.
McNamara said the firm’s financial performance would “drive continued investment in growth and deliver attractive returns to shareholders.”
The initial dividend payment for Haleon shareholders was expected to be at the bottom range of a 30-50 per cent pay-out ratio, while GSK is expected to receive a dividend of more than £7bn from the division, which will be channeled into recapitalising the firm’s balance book and investing in growth.
Pfizer, the American pharma giant which holds a major stake in the consumer division, will receive a dividend of more than £3bn and will retain its 32 perstake post the demerger.