The Strategist

GSK's former business unit holds largest IPO in a decade in London

07/19/2022 - 03:42

The over-the-counter medicine division of the British pharmaceutical corporation GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was separated into a new company.

Ian Wilson
Ian Wilson
The new business, Haleon, rose to become the largest independent producer of over-the-counter medicines in the world.

With a market capitalization of £30.5 billion at the time of its initial public offering (IPO), Haleon became the third-biggest IPO in the history of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the largest in the past ten years. Haleon started trading on the LSE on Monday.

GSK had initially wanted to sell the over-the-counter division, known as GSK Consumer Healthcare, but it was unsatisfied with the offers it received from prospective buyers (the unit was valued at £50 billion by Unilever on December 21 of last year).
Later, GSK Consumer Healthcare was separated into a new company.

In 2014, GSK and Swiss Novartis established a joint venture called GSK Consumer Healthcare. The British business acquired the partner's share in 2015 for $13 billion. GSK purchased the over-the-counter medicine division of Pfizer in 2019. As a result of the agreement, GSK held a 68 percent stake and Pfizer – a 32 percent one in the joint venture.