Sector News

GSK exec cites Haleon’s “enormous potential” as demerged consumer healthcare company

February 27, 2022
Life sciences

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is demerging to create an independent consumer healthcare company dubbed Haleon. The company will be listed in mid-2022 to include global brands Sensodyne, Voltaren, Panadol and Centrum.

The move is driven in part by the consumer healthcare sector valued by the company to amount to £150 billion (US$203 billion), according to GSK.

“The goal is to create two exceptional, UK-based global companies, with appropriate capital structures, that are each well positioned to deliver improving returns to shareholders and significant benefits to patients and consumers,” Tamara Rogers, chief marketing officer, GSK consumer healthcare, tells NutritionInsight.

Strategic moves
GSK highlights that the business is “well-positioned to deliver human health impact and to sustainably grow ahead of the market in the years to come.” The aim is that both companies will deliver compelling performance and attractive returns, as well as value to shareholders.

“The creation of Haleon results from a series of successful investments and strategic changes to GSK’s consumer health business over the last eight years, including integrations of the consumer product portfolios from Novartis and Pfizer. It is now a highly valuable and focused global business generating annual sales of approximately £10 billion (US$13.6 billion).”
Haleon will be shared in more than 100 markets around the world where the business operates.

Last month, GSK rejected multiple bids by Unilever, saying the offers undervalued the market potential of the businesses.

Asked to comment on whether the rebranding is linked to making the company more attractive and raising the company’s market value, Rogers states: “We’re progressing well with our plans for separation and remain on track to meet our ambition to separate GSK into two leading UK-based companies, in mid-2022. Subject to shareholder approval. The name and branding announcement is part of this process.”

Strong business momentum
Branding the company with the name Haleon was inspired by the merging of the words ‘Hale’, which is an old English word that means ‘in good health’ and Leon, which is associated with the word ‘strength’, GSK highlights.

“Introducing Haleon to the world marks another step in our journey to become a new, standalone company. We are on track to launch Haleon in mid-2022, and our business momentum is strong. We look forward to updating investors and analysts more on this at our capital markets event at the end of February,” says Brian McNamara, CEO designate, Haleon.

The name was announced in advance of GSK hosting a Consumer Healthcare Capital Markets Day for investors and analysts on February 28, to provide details on the overall strategy, capabilities and operations of Haleon, including detailed financial information and growth ambitions of the business.

Targeting “unmet” consumer needs
According to GSK, strong demand in health and wellness is driven by an aging population and emerging middle-class. Demands for immunity, maintaining cognitive functions, heart health and vitality, as well as strength, are in the spotlight within healthy aging trends.

“Haleon has enormous potential to improve health and well-being across the world with strong prospects for growth, and through listing will unlock significant value for GSK shareholders,” says Emma Walmsley, Chief Executive Officer, GSK.

The brands under Haleon include Centrum, a multivitamin and Sensodyne, a toothpaste.

By Andria Kades


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