Belfast Telegraph

GSK pulls out of bid for Pfizer consumer healthcare business

GSK was considered the favourite to pick up the firm.

Institute of Directors’ (IoD) corporate governance survey
Institute of Directors’ (IoD) corporate governance survey

GlaxoSmithKline has pulled out of the race to buy Pfizer’s 20 billion US dollars consumer healthcare business, becoming the second firm in quick succession to do so after Reckitt Benckiser.

GSK was considered the favourite to pick up the firm following Reckitt’s decision on Thursday, but the group indicated that the deal did not meet its investment criteria.

GSK chief executive Emma Walmsley said: “While we will continue to review opportunities that may accelerate our strategy, they must meet our criteria for returns and not compromise our priorities for capital allocation.”

Shares in GSK rose towards the top of the FTSE 100 following the announcement, increasing nearly 3% to 1,307p.

When Reckitt pulled out, the household goods giant, which is behind Durex and Dettol, said it had wanted to acquire only part of the Pfizer division, but this had proved impossible.

Pfizer’s consumer healthcare arm is behind Advil painkillers and Centrum vitamins.

Separately, GSK announced that its shingles vaccine, Shingrix, has been approved in Europe and Japan.

The vaccine, which has delivered more than 90% efficacy across all age groups studied and is already approved in the US and Canada, is a “key growth driver for GSK”, broker Shore Capital said.