Pfizer, GSK To Merge Consumer Healthcare Units Into Joint Venture

Pfizer (PFE) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced they have entered into an agreement to create a consumer healthcare company. The boards of both companies have unanimously approved the transaction under which Pfizer will contribute its consumer healthcare business to GlaxoSmithKline's existing consumer healthcare business. The 2017 global sales for the combined business were approximately $12.7B. Under the terms of the transaction, Pfizer will receive a 32% equity stake in the joint venture, entitling Pfizer to its pro rata share of the joint venture's earnings and dividends, which will be paid on a quarterly basis. Pfizer will have the right to appoint three out of the nine members of the joint venture's board. The transaction is expected to deliver $650M in peak cost synergies and to be slightly accretive for Pfizer in each of the first three years after the close of the transaction, which is anticipated during the second half of 2019, subject to receipt of GSK shareholder approval and regulatory approvals, and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Pfizer anticipates deconsolidating Pfizer Consumer Healthcare from its financial statements following the closing of the transaction. In the near- to medium-term, this deconsolidation is not expected to have a material impact on Pfizer's top-line growth. In addition, given the Consumer Healthcare business records lower margins than Pfizer's other businesses, the deconsolidation is expected to have a slight positive impact on Pfizer's operating margins over the next several years. Following the integration of the combined business, GSK intends to separate the joint venture as an independent company via a demerger of its equity interest to its shareholders and a listing of the Consumer Healthcare business on the UK equity market. GSK will have the sole right to decide whether and when to initiate a separation and listing for a period of five years from closing of the proposed transaction. GSK may also sell all or part of its stake in the joint venture in a contemporaneous IPO. Should a separation and listing occur during the first five years after closing, Pfizer has the option to participate through the distribution of its equity interest in the joint venture to its shareholders or the sale of its equity interest in a contemporaneous IPO.

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