GSK to raise India unit stake in Rs 5,220-cr deal

GlaxoSmithKline Plc plans to buy up to an additional 31.8 per cent stake in its Indian consumer products arm for about Rs 5220 crore, as Britain's biggest drugmaker deepens its emerging markets and non-prescription consumer health footprint.

The move is the latest in a series of deals by GSK to increase its presence in fast growing economies and reduce its reliance on traditional pharmaceuticals in Western countries where sales are slower.

GSK aims to raise its stake in GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd to 75 per cent from 43.2 per cent, paying Rs 3,900 per share through open offer, it said in a statement.
The offer made pursuant to the rules of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, is to acquire up to 13,389,410 shares, representing 31.8 per cent of the total outstanding shares of the Indian company, it added. The price represents a premium of 28 per cent to the stock's Friday close.

"This transaction represents a further step in GSK's strategy to invest in the world's fastest growing markets," said David Redfern, chief strategy officer at GSK in London.
The company, however, has "no current plans" to launch an open offer for its Indian drugs unit GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd, he added.

GSK said the transaction -- to be funded through existing cash resources -- would be earnings neutral for the first year and boost earnings thereafter. It will not impact expectations for the group's long-term share buyback programme. Tough market conditions in Europe have hampered GSK's hopes for a return to sales growth this year, although the company's growing business in emerging markets and its large consumer healthcare operation are both doing well.

In India, for example, sales of the consumer unit's Horlicks brand stood at 270 million pounds in the year that ended December 2011, contributing to nearly three-quarters of its total revenues.

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