GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) plans to split into two businesses — one for prescription drugs and vaccines, the other for over-the-counter products — after forming a new joint venture with Pfizer’s consumer health division.
The revamp is the boldest move yet by GSK Chief Executive Emma Walmsley, who took over last year.
It will lead to the creation of a consumer health giant with a market share of 7.3 per cent, well ahead of its nearest rivals Johnson & Johnson, Bayer and Sanofi, all on around 4 per cent.
Walmsley has previously played down the idea of breaking up the group, something that a number of investors have called for over the years.
On December 19, however, she announced that GSK and Pfizer would combine their consumer health businesses in a joint venture with sales of 9.8 billion pounds ($12.7 billion), 68 percent-owned by the British company, in an all-equity transaction.
GSK said that the deal laid the foundation for the creation of two new UK-based global companies focused on pharma/vaccines and consumer healthcare within three years of the transaction closing.