British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has successfully split from its consumer healthcare division, which will list separately on the London Stock Exchange this summer.
The division, now known as Haleon, will enter London’s main market on 18 July, GSK confirmed in a regulatory update today, as it awaits a response on its application to the New York Stock Exchange.
The demerger is the most significant corporate change for GSK in the last 20 years.
London-headquartered GSK yesterday announced it had offered to pay up to $3.3bn (£2.6bn) for US vaccine maker Affinivax, as it seeks to focus purely on biopharmaceuticals and next generation vaccines following the demerger.
Affinivax, based in Boston, focuses on vaccines which target pneumococcal disease, which includes pneumonia, meningitis, bloodstream infections and milder diseases such as sinusitis.
Laura Hoy, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the acquisition was an effort to “pad out” GSK’s pipeline of late-stage drugs.
“The group’s planning to rely on growth from these niche medicines to support its ambitions for five per cent compound annual sales growth, and this acquisition could be the first of many as the group looks to improve its portfolio,” she said.
“While this marks a step in the right direction with regard to the group’s strategy, we’re mindful that owning the treatment and making money from it are two very different things. Late-stage drugs often fail to clear the final hurdle, so the Affinivax purchase may not end up moving the needle at all.”
It comes off the back of London-headquartered GSK hiring a Pfizer vaccine executive in November last year, after failing to bring a Covid-19 jab to the market during the pandemic.
GSK and US pharmaceutical heavyweight Pfizer have a fairly close commercial relationship, with both holding stakes in emerging business Haleon.
In June last year, GSK proposed to investors that it would separate the majority of its 68 per cent stake in the consumer healthcare business.
But Pfizer would continue to hold its 32 per cent stake in the division.