EU to Rule on GSK-Pfizer Consumer JV in July

24.06.2019 -

Leading UK drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline has begun offering concessions to the European Commission’s antitrust arm to ease concerns over its planned majority-owned consumer health joint venture with Pfizer. The Commission said it will decide by Jul. 10 whether to accept the proposed solutions or open an in-depth investigation.

GSK and Pfizer announced their plans in December 2018. Creation of the new 68:32 joint venture with pro forma annual sales of £10 billion according to the latest reports would push the British group ahead of Johnson & Johnson, Bayer and Sanofi in the consumer sector – before the jv is spun off and listed in about three years.

Three sources who spoke to the Reuters news agency said GSK is in the throes of selling off some non-core consumer products worth £ 1 billion in sales, as indicated earlier.

The sources said three portfolio bundles are up for grabs, with GSK already having sent materials on Latin American drugs and Physiogel skin care brands to possible bidders. The bidding process is expected to get underway at the end of summer. 

One of the business up for grabs is said to be the Latin American franchise, with revenues of about £90 million; this may be sold to local players.

European products account for about 40% of the total £200-300 million in regional revenues the prospective partners plan to sell, and may be the most attractive, Reuters said. Private equity firms that frequently buy pharmaceuticals are counted among the most likely bidders.

The biggest private equity players, including Advent, CVC, Bain and Cinven, were very active in Europe last year, clinching several major pharma deals.

Consolidating Pfizer’s OTC business will make the British player the market leader in indications such as pain relief, vitamin and mineral supplements, respiratory and oral care.