Jul 6, 2022

GSK investor support for spin-off vindicates rejection of Unilever bid, says chief

GlaxoSmithKline's chief executive said a shareholder vote in favour of spinning off its consumer healthcare business vindicated the UK drugmaker's decision to turn down a £50bn takeover offer from Unilever for its joint venture with Pfizer. The spin-off will take place on July 18, with each GSK investor receiving one share in Haleon for each share they own in the parent. Chief executive Emma Walmsley said the new FTSE 20 company would build value over time, benefiting shareholders, patients and the UK. "I think it's good for the country to have new global British-anchored, listed, headquartered companies that are serving a purpose that matters," she told the Financial Times. The new company will be led by Brian McNamara, who oversaw the joint venture when it was part of GSK. Haleon's board will be chaired by former Tesco chief executive Sir Dave Lewis. GSK turned down Unilever's £50bn offer for the consumer business late last year, arguing it undervalued the company.

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