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Glaxo may sell $3.1 billion India consumer unit stake to finance Novartis JV buyout

Proceeds from a potential sale of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd would be used to finance Glaxo’s $13 billion buyout of Novartis AG’s stake in their consumer-health joint venture.

business Updated: Mar 27, 2018 17:32 IST
GSK India,GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare,Novartis
Glaxo has one publicly-traded subsidiary in India for its pharmaceutical business and another for its consumer health unit.(Reuters File Photo)

UK pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline Plc will examine selling the stake it holds in its Indian consumer health subsidiary, worth about $3.1 billion, as it looks for ways to finance a buyout of the joint venture partner in its global consumer healthcare business.

The strategic review of its 72.5% stake in a publicly-traded Indian unit, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd, is expected to be completed around the end of 2018 and may not result in a transaction, the company said in a statement. Malted milk drink brand Horlicks -- which gets most of its sales through the Indian consumer health unit -- will also be part of the process, the company said.

Proceeds from a potential sale would be used to finance Glaxo’s $13 billion buyout of Novartis AG’s stake in their consumer-health joint venture.

Shares of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer gained 1.95% to close at Rs 6633.00 on the BSE on Tuesday.

“India remains a priority market,” the company said in a statement, saying it will continue to invest in over-the-counter medicines and oral health brands, such as its Sensodyne toothpaste, antacid Eno, as well as its pharmaceutical and vaccine businesses.

Glaxo has one publicly-traded subsidiary in India for its pharmaceutical business and another for its consumer health unit. Revenue at the consumer unit has decreased the last two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

First Published: Mar 27, 2018 17:32 IST