GSK-Pfizer Complete Consumer Health JV

07.08.2019 -

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has completed its transaction with Pfizer to combine their consumer healthcare businesses into a joint venture. GSK owns 68% of the combined business with Pfizer owning 32%.

The company will operate as GSK Consumer Healthcare and be led by CEO Brian McNamara, who has headed GSK’s consumer healthcare division since September 2016.

The merger, said Pfizer, has created a global leader in OTC products with leadership positions in pain relief, respiratory and vitamins, minerals and supplements and therapeutic oral health. The new company also holds the number one OTC position in the US and the number two OTC position in China – the two biggest OTC markets in the world. Key brands include GSK’s Sensodyne, Voltaren and Panadol and Pfizer’s Advil, Centruum and Caltrate.

“The completion of the joint venture with Pfizer marks the beginning of the next phase of our transformation of GSK. This is an important moment for the group, laying the foundation for two great companies, one in pharmaceuticals and vaccines and one in consumer health,” said Emma Walmsley, GSK’s CEO and chair of the jv.

GSK intends to demerge the jv from the company within three years and to list the GSK Consumer Healthcare business on the UK equity market.

The jv will now focus on completing the integration of the two businesses, which is expected to realize annual cost savings of £500 million by 2022. Up to 25% of the cost savings are intended to be reinvested into the business to support innovation and other growth opportunities, the companies said.

In separate news, GSK has announced it is hiring Jonathan Symonds, a former finance director at rivals Novartis and AstraZeneca as its new chairman from Sept. 1, ending a six-month search.

Symonds, who will oversee the breakup of GSK, replaces Philip Hampton who has been non-executive chairman of the UK’s biggest drugmaker since 2015. Hampton will step down on Aug. 31.

The incoming chairman was Novartis’ chief financial officer from 2009 to 2013, during when he oversaw the acquisition of eyecare company Alcon.  He was also chief financial officer at AstraZeneca from 1998 to 2007, and was involved in acquiring biologics firm MedImmune during his tenure.