GlaxoSmithKline to merge with rival Pfizer in agree £10bn healthcare deal

( via– Wed,  19thDec 2018) London, Uk – –

The UK drug firm behind the Aquafresh toothpaste and Beechams flu remedies is to be effectively broken up under its Pfizer deal.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new business with almost £10bn in annual sales.

The UK pharmaceutical firm – behind many well-known brands including Aquafresh toothpaste, Panadol and Beechams cold and flu remedies – said it would control 68% of the joint venture.

Pfizer – best known for Viagra and Anadin painkillers – would own the rest, though GSK added that the all-equity deal “lays the foundation” for it to spin off the healthcare arm – as shareholders had demanded of the company.

Its stock was 5% up when the FTSE 100 opened.

GSK said it planned to create two separate UK-based companies – one focused on pharmaceuticals and vaccines and the other on consumer healthcare – within three years of completing the tie-up.

GSK said the merger was set to deliver cost savings of £500m by 2022 and admitted there would be job losses under the programme.

By James Sillars, business reporter