December 9, 2023

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – No longer known officially as GlaxoSmithKline but GSK – or “The new GSK” as the drug giant describes itself – emerges today as its consumer health business is spun off as Haleon. Was that the best strategy?

Shares in Haleon began trading this morning in London and are expected to start trading on the NYSE later this week, according to GSK.

Haleon (HLN is the symbol) is built around products such as toothpaste and painkillers and is described by Reuters as “world’s biggest standalone consumer health business.”

GSK (NYSE: GSK), which has substantial operations accross the Triangle from R&D to manufacturing, rejected attempts to buy the business group, instead choosing a spinoff strategy.

But was that the right call?

The company is valued at just north of $36 billion. Unilever had offered more than $50 billion earlier this year. Reuters pointed out GSK had called the bid too low.

GSK to buy US biopharma for up to $3.3B in bolstering vaccine lineup

“Investors might be wondering why GSK didn’t accept the much higher bid from Unilever,” AJ Bell analyst Danni Hewson wrote in a note, according to Reuters.

As part of the move, GSK shareholders will receive one share in Haleon for each GSK share they own, CNBC reported. 

GSK now focuses on drugs and vaccines as made clear by two recent acquisitions: and

GSK announces its latest quartertly earnings on July 27.

  • Read more from Reuters:
  • Read more from CNBC:
  • Here’s GSK’s formal statement on today’s spinoff:

GSK buying biopharma focusing on cancer for $1.9B

More GSK coverage:

Video: GSK’s CEO breaks down drug giant’s positive financials


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