GSK has finally completed the sale of its stake in consumer health spin-off Haleon after selling another £1.3billion worth of shares. 

The FTSE 100 drugmaker, which span-off Haleon in July 2022, from the FTSE 100 drugmaker in July 2022, initially retained a 12.9 per cent stake after its IPO.

Having now sold its shares, it has raised a total of around £3.9billion.

GSK said in a short statement this morning: ‘GSK’s exit of its position in Haleon is consistent with its previous commitments to monetise its holding in a disciplined manner.’

Haleon makes consumer health brands like Sensodyne toothpaste and Panadol pain killers

Haleon makes consumer health brands like Sensodyne toothpaste and Panadol pain killers

Haleon makes consumer health brands like Sensodyne toothpaste and Panadol pain killers 

Haleon’s IPO marked one of the biggest London stock market debuts in more than a decade, raising £30.5billion – disappointing some backers as it fell well short of the £50billion enterprise value offered by Unilever and rejected by GSK prior to the listing.

The demerger was a key plank of a turnaround strategy spearheaded by GSK boss Emma Walmsley, who planned to shift its focus towards drugs and vaccines and boost its flagging share price amid pressure from investors.

Rival Pfizer is also selling down its Haelon stake to fund shareholder returns and reduce debts incurred from the $43billion takeover of biotechnology company Seagen.

Pfizer’s stake fell from 32 per cent to 24 per cent in March, following the sale of £3billion worth of shares.

GSK has recently seen trade boosted by strong demand for its shingles and common respiratory virus vaccines.

The drugmaker earlier this month lifted annual core operating profit growth forecast to 9 to 11 per cent after raking in sales of £7.4billion in the first quarter.

Haleon, by contrast, saw first-quarter trade strung by a much milder cold and flu season, which constrained demand for brands like Ibuprofen, as well as currency headwinds.

The firm has been selling off some brands in efforts efforts to simplify its portfolio and reduce net debts, which fell by over £2billion in the first 18 months following its demerger.

GSK shares were down 1 per cent to 1,766p in early trading on Friday, holding 2024 gains back to 19.4 per cent. 

Haleon shares were down 0.3 per cent to 331.3p, having added 2.4 per cent since the start of the year. They are up just 4.8 per cent since IPO.  

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