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A-Brands

GSK Spins Off Consumer Health Business Worth Up To $57bn

British drugmaker GSK will spin off its consumer health business Haleon worth up to an estimated £48 billion ($57 billion) on Monday in the biggest listing in Europe in over a decade.

Haleon is the largest global consumer health company - home to brands such as Sensodyne toothpaste and Advil painkillers - that encompasses assets from GSK, those shared with Pfizer and previously Novartis.

It begins trading on the London stock exchange with the ticker 'HLN'.

There are lofty expectations for Haleon's market valuation after GSK in January said it had rebuffed a £50 billion ($59.14 billion) offer from Unilever because it was too low.

Barclays analysts estimate Haleon has an enterprise value of £33 billion to £48 billion ($39-$57 billion).

Post-Split:

Pfizer has a 32% stake in the business, which the US drug maker has said it intends on selling over time.

GSK's 68% holding will fall to 13.5%. The remaining 55% is free float.

Pfizer, GSK and other current stakeholders have committed to a lock-up period until November, so as not to jeopardise the stock of the newly independent Haleon, GSK said last month.

Turnover:

Haleon has grown from just over £4 billion in sales in 2014 to about £9.6 billion last year.

Two key transactions fuelled this growth. GSK struck a $13 billion deal in 2018 to assume full control of a consumer health venture with Swiss drugs group Novartis.

The following year, the British drugmaker folded its consumer health business into Pfizer's forming what is now Haleon.

This year, Barclays analysts forecast Haleon to generate £10.7 billion in sales.

According to GSK - which is sharpening its focus on vaccines and prescription drugs as a standalone company - Haleon is poised to generate above market, medium-term annual organic revenue growth of 4% to 6%.

That range forecast made in June exceeded some analysts' expectations, and was met with a degree of scepticism among some investors given the 3% to 5% large-cap consumer staples average, Barclays analysts wrote in a note.

Focus, Main Markets:

Haleon has over-the-counter products in three broad therapeutic areas - pain relief, digestive, and respiratory - in addition to vitamins, minerals and supplements as well as therapeutic oral health.

It also has a sweeping geographical footprint with a presence in over 100 markets, including leading positions in the United States, India and Germany.

Haleon's closest competitors in the non-prescription drugs, vitamins and oral care market are Procter and Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson and Bayer.

Management:

Dave Lewis, former chief executive of British supermarket group Tesco TSCO.L and before that head of personal care at Unilever, has been appointed chair of Haleon.

Brian McNamara will be its chief executive, a position he has held since 2016 within the business as part of GSK.

Other Haleon board members have experience at companies including Unilever, LVMH, L’Oréal and Diageo, and there are also two board members from Pfizer to reflect its 32% stake.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM – your source for the latest A-Brands news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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