GSK to float customer healthcare division after rejecting Unilever £50B bid

GSK to float customer healthcare division after rejecting Unilever £50B bid

Chief executive Emma Walmsley said that the pharmaceuticals giant is on track to spin off the arm that includes Aquafresh, Panadol, Centrum and other household brands by the middle of the year.

It will detail what the standalone venture will look like at the end of the month.

Ms Walmsley said: “We will set out the future growth ambitions and highly attractive financial profile of this business, and the outstanding opportunity it provides for shareholders.”

Consumer goods giant Unilever made three bids. The last in January, worth £50billion, was batted away as GSK felt it undervalued the business and its prospects.

At its full-year results, GSK said 2021 revenues were flat at £34billion, while its pre-tax profits fell 22 percent to £5.4billion, as they did not receive a boost from disposals like they did in 2020.

Elsewhere, insurer LV= and aviation services group John Menzies turned down takeover bids.

Mutual LV= said it had ended talks with larger rival Royal London, after concluding that a takeover would not be in its members’ interests.

Royal London had pounced after the £530million sale of LV= to US private equity group Bain Capital collapsed in December when members failed to back it.

Seamus Creedon, LV= interim chairman, said: “The strength of our business performance over the past 18 months combined with its operational progress has strengthened the board’s belief in the continuation of our status as an independent mutual.”

Menzies said it has rejected two offers from Kuwaiti logistics group Agility Public Warehousing.

The latest was a cash offer that valued it at 510p per share or £468.7million.

Prior to news of Agility’s offer, Menzies’ shares traded at 335p.

Chairman Philipp Joeinig said: “The board has unanimously rejected this unsolicited and highly opportunistic proposal, which we believe does not reflect Menzies’ true intrinsic business worth.”

Menzies suffered in the pandemic but expects to deliver strong growth.

Published at Thu, 10 Feb 2022 14:30:27 +0000