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Pharma giants GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer today completed a tie-up of their consumer healthcare business.

The joint venture will allow GSK to have 68 per cent equity, while Pfizer takes the remaining 32. The companies say the new deal will generate cost savings of £500 million by 2022.

The combined portfolio is now the world’s largest OTC business with leadership positions in pain relief; respiratory; and vitamins, minerals and supplements; and therapeutic oral health. It also holds the first and second market share positions in all key geographies, including the US and China.

“Now the deal has closed, our focus will be on completing the integration of these two businesses and leveraging their combined strength.

“With our portfolio of brilliant, science-based brands and strong talent and capabilities, we are well-positioned to create a world-leading consumer healthcare business with stronger sales, cash flow and contribution to earnings,” said Brian McNamara, chief executive officer, GSK Consumer Healthcare.

The new business will have combined sales of £9.8 billion and the move paves the way for a break-up of GSK into two separate entities: one focused on pharmaceuticals and vaccines, and the other on consumer healthcare.

GSK’s boss Emma Walmsley, who chaired deal, said: “The completion of the joint venture with Pfizer marks the beginning of the next phase of our transformation of GSK. This is an important moment for the group, laying the foundation for two great companies, one in pharmaceuticals and vaccines and one in consumer health.”

“The successful closing of the joint venture represents an important and exciting step in forming a world-class pure-play consumer healthcare business,” said Albert Bourla, chief executive officer, Pfizer.

“It also furthers Pfizer’s evolution to be a more focused, global leader in science-based, innovative medicines that delivers breakthroughs that change patients’ lives and creates long-term value for shareholders.”

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