Several of GlaxoSmithKline’s top shareholders have contacted its chairman to offer support, following concerns activist hedge fund Elliott Management is preparing to push for a shake-up at the group.
Shareholders including BlackRock, Dodge & Cox and Royal London are said to have given their support, the Times first reported.
The pharma giant has come under pressure since Elliott Management’s investment last month, adding fuel to murmurings from existing and discontented shareholders.
Elliott Management, which has assets under management of around £40bn, is known for being an aggressive activist investor.
One large existing shareholder told the Times that the situation at GSK was like “turning around a tanker” and that its management needed to be more “radical”.
They added they would prefer a chief executive with a deeper scientific background to lead the drugs business. Current CEO Emma Walmsley’s experience is in consumer healthcare.