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Pharmaceutical shares soar after Novartis and Glaxo deal

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Sarah Butler
London Guardian
April 22, 2014

Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline have agreed a multibillion dollar swap of assets under which the two pharmaceutical companies will join forces in the consumer healthcare sector combining brands including Aquafresh, Beechams and Tixylix and exchange their oncology and vaccine businesses.

The deal comes amid a frenzy of takeover speculation in the sector with the US drugs group Pfizer thought to be considering a $100bn (£59bn) bid for AstraZeneca and Valeant Pharmaceuticals looking at Botox-maker Allergan in a $40bn move.

Shares in GSK rose over 5% to £16.45 and Switzerland’s Novartis rose 2% to 76.25 Swiss francs. AstraZeneca rose nearly 7% and the UK’s Shire jumped 4% to £30.49on hopes of more deals to come.

GSK shareholders will benefit from a £4bn capital return funded by net proceeds of $7.8bn from the deal, in which the Brentford-based firm is selling its oncology business to Novartis for $16bn and purchasing its new partner’s vaccine business for an initial $5.25bn. A further $1.8bn is promised if the division performs well.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 10:56 am

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