London - GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to sell a clutch of
international over-the-counter healthcare brands for £164m to South Africa’s
Aspen Pharmacare Holdings [JSE:APN], Britain’s biggest drugmaker said on Friday.
Cash proceeds from the transaction are expected to be about £135m and will be returned to shareholders during 2012.
The sale is the latest move by GSK to fine-tune its consumer
healthcare business and follows the divestment of other over-the-counter brands in North America and Europe.
The brands being sold generated sales of around £60m
in 2011. They include the painkiller Solpadeine and anti-stomach acid drug
The net profit realised on the disposal in 2012 - after deducting
transaction costs and a profit deferral of some £25m pre-tax because Aspen
is a GSK associate - is expected to be £105m before tax, or £90m
GSK added it continued to plan to sell its OTC weight-loss pill
Alli. This process has been delayed due to supply problems at a Roche factory in
the United States.
The Swiss company manufactures the active ingredient, orlistat,
which is also the active substance in Roche’s prescription-only drug Xenical.
Alli is a low-dose version of Xenical.
GSK first announced in February 2011 that it planned to dispose of
non-core brands sold primarily in North America and Europe and representing
about 10% of its consumer health portfolio, in order to focus on priority
brands and emerging markets.