GlaxoSmithKline is to divest a number of non-core over-the-counter brands in the US, Canada and Europe to Prestige Brands Holdings for £426m.

The company has said that the move, announced in February 2011, will simplify its consumer healthcare business and allow it to focus on higher priority brands and markets.

Brands being divested include BC, Goody’s, Beano, Ecotrin, Fiber Choice and Tagamet.

The company hopes to raise approximately £242m in net cash proceeds, which will be returned to shareholders during 2012.

The UK drug giant is also in the process of divesting other brands outside the USA and Canada, including OTC weight loss drug Alli (orlistat).

GlaxoSmithKline chief financial officer Simon Dingemans said, "The disposal of our non-core consumer brands is about realising attractive value for shareholders as well as simplifying our ongoing consumer business."

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The priority brand areas that GlaxoSmithKline will now focus on include oral health, wellness/over-the-counter and nutrition.