Activist Investor Bluebell Takes Stake In GSK

By Dayeeta Das
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Activist Investor Bluebell Takes Stake In GSK

Activist investor Bluebell Capital Partners has taken a stake worth about €10 million in British pharmaceuticals group GlaxoSmithKline in efforts to shake up top management, according to a Financial Times report.

Bluebell said in a letter to GSK chairman Jonathan Symonds that chief executive Emma Walmsley should reapply for her job as she would have 'renewed credibility both internally and externally,' the FT report said.

Earlier this year, activist Elliott had also taken a stake in GSK, calling for a leadership change at the company. Bluebell was largely backing Elliott's demands, the FT said.

GSK confirmed Bluebell had made demands in a letter.

'Engage Extensively With Shareholders'

"We continue to engage extensively with our shareholders with over 500 meetings so far this year," GSK said in a statement.


"They have expressed widespread and strong support for our plans to deliver a step-change in growth and performance, and given clear direction to focus on execution," the company added.

The British pharma major, with a market value of over £71 billion ($96.95 billion), in July rejected Elliott's demands to change its board and sell its consumer healthcare arm.

Consumer Healthcare Business

GSK has set out plans to turn its consumer healthcare arm into a separately listed company, in a move that will deliver an £8 billion windfall and other financial benefits to boost drug development at its underperforming pharma business.

In July, the company said its consumer healthcare head, Brian McNamara, will take over as the chief executive officer of the unit once it is spun off into a new company next year.


Bluebell was part of a successful investor campaign to oust Danone chairman and chief executive Emmanuel Faber in March.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. For more A-Brands stores, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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