Analyst Insight by Mark Strobel - Consumer Health Analyst
In the midst of significant merger and acquisition speculation among the world leading pharmaceutical and consumer health companies, GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) and Novartis AG made a deal to establish a joint venture that will create the largest consumer health operation worldwide*.
GSK and Novartis traded over US$20 billion in assets on 22 April 2014 involving the companies’ consumer health, oncology and vaccine divisions. In a desire to focus on their strengths, Novartis will acquire GSK’s oncology unit to further bolster its position in the fast moving field of cancer drug research while GSK will take on Novartis’s vaccine unit, converting the company into the world leader in this area. The consumer health businesses of these companies will be merging forces to create a joint venture, which will operate under the GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare name and will be run by GSK’s current consumer health head, Emma Walmsley. GSK will own 63.5% of the new venture which reflects the valuation of its contribution to the deal, and GSK will retain full control of its operations in India and Nigeria. The new partnership is expected to be completed in early 2015, subject to approvals.
In a separate transaction, Eli Lilly and Company will acquire the Novartis animal health business.
A New Leader in Consumer Health
This high profile partnership is expected to establish a new global leader in consumer health. In 2013, GSK and Novartis ranked seventh and eighth in consumer health retail value sales, respectively, reaching US$4.8 and US$4.7 billion. The combined sales of US$9.5 billion would account for a value share of 4.6%, surpassing Johnson & Johnson Inc’s 3.9% of global consumer health sales.