British drugmaker GSK will spin off its consumer health business Haleon worth up to an estimated 48 billion pounds ($57 billion) on Monday in the biggest listing in Europe in over a decade. Haleon is the largest global consumer health company – home to brands such as Sensodyne toothpaste and Advil painkillers – that encompasses assets from GSK, those shared with Pfizer and previously Novartis.It begins trading on the London stock exchange with the ticker “HLN”.
There are lofty expectations for Haleon’s market valuation after GSK in January said it had rebuffed a 50 billion pound ($59.14 billion) offer from Unilever because it was too low. Barclays analysts estimate Haleon has an enterprise value of 33 billion pounds to 48 billion pounds ($39-$57 billion).
Pfizer has a 32 per cent stake in the business, which the U.S. drug maker has said it intends on selling over time. GSK’s 68 per cent holding will fall to 13.5 per cent. The remaining 55 per cent is free float. Pfizer, GSK and other current stakeholders have committed to a lock-up period until November, so as not to jeopardise the stock of the newly independent Haleon, GSK said last month.
Haleon has grown from just over 4 billion pounds in sales in 2014 to about 9.6 billion pounds last year. Two key transactions fuelled this growth. GSK struck a $13 billion deal in 2018 to assume full control of a consumer health venture with Swiss drugs group Novartis.
The following year, the British drugmaker folded its consumer health business into Pfizer’s forming what is now Haleon. This year, Barclays analysts forecast Haleon to generate 10.7 billion pounds in sales. According to GSK – which is sharpening its focus on vaccines and prescription drugs as a standalone company – Haleon is poised to generate above market, medium-term annual organic revenue growth of 4 per cent to 6 per cent. That range forecast made in June exceeded some analysts’ expectations, and was met with a degree of scepticism among some investors given the 3 per cent to 5 per cent large-cap consumer staples average, Barclays analysts wrote in a note.
FOCUS, MAIN MARKETS:
Haleon has over-the-counter products in three broad therapeutic areas – pain relief, digestive, and respiratory – in addition to vitamins, minerals and supplements as well as therapeutic oral health. It also has a sweeping geographical footprint with a presence in over 100 markets, including leading positions in the United States, India and Germany. Haleon’s closest competitors in the non-prescription drugs, vitamins and oral care market are Procter and Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson and Bayer.
Dave Lewis, former chief executive of British supermarket group Tesco and before that head of personal care at Unilever, has been appointed chair of Haleon. Brian McNamara will be its chief executive, a position he has held since 2016 within the business as part of GSK. Other Haleon board members have experience at companies including Unilever , LVMH, L’Oreal and Diageo, and there are also two board members from Pfizer to reflect its 32 per cent stake. ($1 = 0.8455 pounds).