Introduction
How will the business be split?
Is a pharma or healthcare demerger different from any other sector?
Is more restructuring expected in the UK pharmaceutical sector in the near future?


Introduction

During Summer 2022, GSK separated its consumer healthcare business (previously a joint venture between GSK and Pfizer) to create the independently UK-listed Haleon group. This challenging demerger created one of the largest standalone global consumer healthcare businesses in the world, with brands such as Sensodyne, Panadol, Voltaren and Centrum.

On listing on the London Stock Exchange, Haleon had a market capitalisation of around £30 billion – making it the biggest London listing in more than a decade. The demerger fulfilled a key strategic goal for GSK following on from the joint venture with Pfizer and is one of its most significant transactions in the last 20 years, likewise arguably for the UK domestic healthcare industry.

How will the business be split?

Haleon is now an independent listed company 100% focused on consumer health. Haleon's product portfolio is split among five categories:

  • oral health;
  • pain relief;
  • vitamins, minerals and supplements;
  • respiratory health and digestive health; and
  • "other".

GSK is now a fully focused biopharma company, prioritising innovation in vaccines and specialty medicines.

Is a pharma or healthcare demerger different from any other sector?

From a transactional perspective, a demerger for a pharmaceutical or consumer healthcare company is not materially different to other sectors. However, the history and development of Haleon, as well as the scale and complexity of its business, created unique challenges which required bespoke structuring solutions – there were many interconnected workstreams, stakeholders and external advisers to work with and manage.

Is more restructuring expected in the UK pharmaceutical sector in the near future?

Major pharmaceutical companies regularly undertake global restructurings – including Novartis, for example, at the moment. Therefore, GSK's move is unlikely to be linked to a short-term trend.

For further information on this topic please contact Claire Jackson at Slaughter and May by telephone (+44 (0)20 7600 1200) or email ([email protected]). The Slaughter and May website can be accessed at www.slaughterandmay.com.