GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer complete formation of consumer healthcare joint venture

GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer completed a transaction to combine their consumer healthcare businesses into a joint venture that will operate as GSK Consumer Healthcare, the companies announced Thursday. GlaxoSmithKline reaffirmed that it plans to split-off the joint venture, which will be 68% owned by the UK drugmaker, with Pfizer having a 32% equity stake, within three years and to list it on the UK equity market.

Emma Walmsley, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, said "the completion of the joint venture with Pfizer marks the beginning of the next phase of our transformation." Walmsley added "this is an important moment…laying the foundation for two great companies, one in pharmaceuticals and vaccines and one in consumer health."

Meanwhile, Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla noted that the deal "also furthers Pfizer's evolution to be a more focused, global leader in science-based, innovative medicines." The completion of the transaction comes shortly after Pfizer announced that it will combine its Upjohn off-patent branded and generic established medicines business with Mylan into a new company.

GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer noted that GSK Consumer Healthcare, which will be led by Brian McNamara as chief executive, will hold leadership positions in pain relief, respiratory and vitamins, minerals and supplements, and therapeutic oral health. The companies added that the firm will hold the number one over-the-counter (OTC) position in the US and the number two OTC position in China.

According to GlaxoSmithKline, the joint venture is expected to realise annual cost savings of £500 million ($606 million) by 2022, adding that up to 25% of this will be reinvested in the business to support innovation and other growth opportunities.

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