GSK refuses to sell Unilever for £50bn OTC business

Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline (SGK) has refused to sell Unilever the OTC division of GSK Consumer Healthcare, a joint venture between GSK and Pfizer. As noted in a press release, GSK’s board of directors received three business acquisition proposals late last year. The most recent, dated 21 December, valued the unit at £50bn, of which £41.7bn Unilever was willing to pay in free cash. However, the GSK Board of Directors considered this amount too low.

GSK Consumer Healthcare was established in 2014 as a joint venture between GSK and Novartis. In 2015, the British company bought out a stake in a Swiss joint venture partner for $13 billion. And in 2019, GSK acquired Pfizer’s OTC drug business. As a result of the transaction, GSK controls a 68% stake in the joint venture, while Pfizer controls 32%. In 2021, the division’s sales reached £9.6 billion. The JV’s products include Sensodyne and Paradontax toothpastes, as well as Theraflu, Otrivin, Voltaren and Panadol.

Kirill Sarkhanyants



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