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Novartis India has approved transfer of its over-the-counter division (OTC) division to GlaxoSmithKline Consumer (GSK CPL), for Rs1.97bn ($17.6m).

GSK CPL is a consumer healthcare joint venture (JV) between Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis and GSK.

The move is in line with the deal signed in April 2014, under which Novartis agreed with GSK to establish a global consumer healthcare JV, as part of its global portfolio transformation.

GSK will own 63.5% equity interest in the new JV, while Novartis will hold the remaining 36.5% stake.

Under the statement in a stock exchange filing with Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) India, the sale of Novartis’ OTC business in India follows the divestment of its global OTC business, including all of its major patents, trademarks and R&D assets.

Transfer of the OTC business is subject to receipt of all applicable legal and regulatory approvals, consents, permissions and sanctions as may be necessary from concerned authorities, as well as closing of the global joint venture transaction.

Novartis agreed to sell its vaccines business, excluding flu business, to GSK for $7.1bn, in a multi-layered deal signed in April 2014.

The deal includes acquisition of GSK’s oncology unit by Novartis for $14.5bn and up to $1.5bn contingent on a development milestone.

In India, GSK holds various subsidiaries, including Biddle Sawyer, GSK Asia, GSK Consumer Healthcare and GSK Pharmaceuticals, while Novartis operates through Novartis India, Novartis Healthcare, Sandoz Private and Chiron Behring Vaccine Private in the country.

Image: GlaxoSmithKline headquarters in Brentford, London, England. Photo: courtesy of Maxwell Hamilton.