GSK Raises $1.24B by Selling Stake in Consumer Health Spin-Off Haleon

Pictured: GSK laboratories in Dresden, Germany/iSt

Pictured: GSK laboratories in Dresden, Germany/iSt

13threephotography/Getty Images

The British drugmaker on Wednesday said it sold around 300 million shares of Haleon, cutting its shareholding to 4.2%, as it expands its portfolio of specialty medicines, Reuters reported.

Pictured: GSK building in Dresden, Germany/iStock, 13threephotography

GSK has sold around 300 million shares in its spin-off consumer healthcare business Haleon, raising $1.24 billion, Reuters reported Wednesday.

The sale marks the third time in less than a year that the British pharma let go of some of its stake in Haleon, according to Reuters. In October 2023, Bloomberg reported that GSK sold $1.1 billion worth of its stake in Haleon, which followed an earlier sale, made in May 2023, earning the British pharma $1 billion.

After its most recent sale, GSK will now only hold a 4.2% stake in Haleon, down from its initial 12.9% stake, according to Reuters.

In December 2018, GSK and Pfizer joined hands and decided to create a joint global consumer healthcare company. The agreement would eventually result in the creation of Haleon. At the time, the companies agreed that Pfizer would own less than half of the joint venture—it settled on a 32% equity stake—but that it would be able to appoint three of the nine members of the new company’s board of directors.

GSK, meanwhile, would own more than two-thirds of the venture.

The partners closed the deal in July 2019, creating the “world’s largest over-the-counter business,” according to an announcement at the time. The combined venture would market some of the world’s top-selling drugs in pain relief and respiratory health, along with vitamins, minerals and supplements.

In June 2021, GSK CEO announced that the company was looking at a demerger in which it would spin out the consumer healthcare business as its own entity, after which the British drugmaker would be focused on vaccines and specialty medicines in the fields of HIV, oncology, infectious diseases and immunology.

In February 2022, GSK formally named the new consumer health venture as Haleon, which launched as its own company and was listed on the London Stock Exchange in July 2022. In June 2022, amid GSK’s demerger, Pfizer announced that it would also sell off all of its stake in Haleon once the spin-out was completed.

As GSK pulls away from Haleon, it continues to expand its specialty medicines portfolio through a string of high-value deals. Last week, it announced a $1.4 billion deal to buy Aiolos Bio and its pipeline of respiratory and inflammatory assets. In December 2023, GSK put $1.7 billion on the line in an exclusive licensing agreement for Hansoh Pharma’s B7-H3-targeted antibody-drug conjugate, being developed for small and non-small cell lung cancer and sarcoma.

Tristan Manalac is an independent science writer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. He can be reached at tristan@tristanmanalac.com or tristan.manalac@biospace.com.

Tristan is an independent science writer based in Metro Manila, with more than eight years of experience writing about medicine, biotech and science. He can be reached at tristan.manalac@biospace.com, tristan@tristanmanalac.com or on LinkedIn.
MORE ON THIS TOPIC