GlaxoSmithKline refuses to be bounced into early consumer unit spin-off - (TD Waterhouse via NewsPoints Desk)

  • GlaxoSmithKline cautioned that it would not be pushed into an early divestment of its consumer healthcare unit despite speculation that the division could be offloaded to Reckitt Benckiser or Procter & Gamble, as reported TD Waterhouse Wednesday.
  • GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty explained that the company is only in the first year of the three-year process of integrating products acquired in an asset swap with Novartis, which included the creation of a consumer joint venture.
  • "It would be extremely unwise to do anything in anticipation of that," Witty commented, adding "the chances of us doing something in an accelerated time frame are, I think, extraordinarily low."
  • "If you were asking that question today, based on everything I can see from an external environment, my recommendation would probably be not to change the status quo," said Witty, adding "but obviously at a different date in the future you may come to a different conclusion to that question."
  • Products sold by GlaxoSmithKline's consumer healthcare unit include the analgesics Voltaren and Panadol.
  • Meanwhile, Novartis holds an option to divest its stake in the joint venture to GlaxoSmithKline after three years.

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