Financial News

  • 23 April 2014, 15:21

GSK In 8.5bn Deal With Swiss Rival Novartis

British drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to sell its oncology business to Novartis for $14.5bn (8.5bn) and will buy the Swiss company's vaccines division.

Novartis is expected to pay another $1.5bn (900m) if certain milestones on the deal are met.

Under a "major three-part transaction" GSK and Novartis have agreed also to create a consumer healthcare business, GSK confirmed in a statement.

GSK will own 63.5% of the newly-created consumer healthcare business.

The British firm said it would use proceeds from the deals to return 4bn to its shareholders.

Shares in the company were up more than 4% in midday Tuesday trades.

GSK chief executive Sir Andrew Witty said the deals are expected to be completed during the first half of 2015.

He said they would accelerate the firm's strategy to generate "sustainable, broadly sourced sales growth and improve long-term earnings".

Novartis confirmed it signed several multibillion-dollar deals with GlaxoSmithKline and US company Eli Lilly, which may affect up some 15,000 of its employees.

It will sell the vaccines business to GSK, excluding its flu sector, for $7.1bn (4.2bn), plus royalties.

Eli Lilly will buy the Basel-based firm's animal health division for about $5.4bn (3.2bn)

No details have been released on the potential impact of the deal on jobs for the Brentford-based GSK.

Sir Andrew added: "Opportunities to build greater scale and combine high quality assets in vaccines and consumer healthcare are scarce.

"With this transaction we will substantially strengthen two of our core businesses and create significant new options to increase value for shareholders."

Meanwhile, US pharma giant Pfizer may renew its bid for British drug company AstraZeneca, after its reported 60bn takeover approach was rejected.

AstraZeneca topped the FTSE 100 top risers on Tuesday morning, up more than 7% on the potential deal before easing slightly.

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