GSK Break-up “not Under Consideration”

  • Even before current CEO Andrew Witty in March announced plans to step down next year, speculation had revolved around a split, as some shareholders, in particular influential fund manager Neil Woodford, would like to see.Even before current CEO Andrew Witty in March announced plans to step down next year, speculation had revolved around a split, as some shareholders, in particular influential fund manager Neil Woodford, would like to see.

A break-up of the UK’s largest pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is not under consideration at the moment, GSK Chairman Phillip Hampton told the company’s annual general meeting on May 5, according to the news agency Reuters. The focus, at present, Reuters quotes Hampton as saying, is on boosting the performance of  GSK’s consumer division.

Even before current CEO Andrew Witty in March announced plans to step down next year, speculation had revolved around a split, as some shareholders, in particular influential fund manager Neil Woodford, would like to see.  On announcing his departure, Witty had already stressed that a split-up was not an option, at least for the foreseeable future.

“When the company is performing to its maximum potential we can think about whether there are other opportunities for the business and whether the current structure helps or hinders those sorts of things,” Hampton is quoted as telling the agm. “But for the moment it is not something that is being considered at all.”

Commenting on the search for GSK’s next CEO, Hampton told Reuters that while both internal and external candidates will be evaluated only candidates who are “very seriously in the healthcare sector” will be considered.

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