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September 28, 2016

GSK to sell remaining stake in South African drugmaker Aspen

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is planning to divest its remaining stake in South African drugmaker Aspen Pharmacare.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is planning to divest its remaining stake in South African drugmaker Aspen Pharmacare.

The company plans to sell up to 28.2 million ordinary shares in Aspen for a price that will be determined by means of an accelerated bookbuild offering process.

The potential sale represents about 6.2% of the issued share capital.

GSK has been a shareholder in Aspen for seven years and will use the proceeds from the transaction for general corporate purposes.

GSK has signed a placing agreement with Citigroup Global Markets and UBS, in a bid to act as joint book runners for the offering.

GlaxoSmithKline and Aspen have undertaken a series successful commercial transactions to date, including the recent sale of GlaxoSmithKline's anaesthetic products to Aspen.

GSK previously sold 28.2m ordinary shares in Aspen for approximately R10.5bn ($856m).

In a separate development, GSK has agreed to sell its François Hyafil Research Centre (FHRC) in France to Oncodesign.

GSK's research centre's capabilities include delivery of medicinal chemistry, biology, in vivo pharmacology and drug metabolism / pharmacokinetics capabilities.

"This acquisition further accelerates the development of our strategic partnerships, with Ipsen, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and UCB."

Oncodesign founder and CEO Philippe Genne said: “This acquisition further accelerates the development of our strategic partnerships, with Ipsen, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and UCB. In addition, it will speed up our Nanocyclix-based drug discovery internal programmes through increased capabilities and productivity in both oncology and non-oncology areas.

“Oncodesign will therefore strengthen its scientific expertise in one of the most modern research centres in France, in addition to acquiring new and complementary capabilities and expansion in non-oncology space.

“Together with our presence at the Open Campus Ipsen site, the FHRC integration will further establish our presence in the Paris Saclay science cluster and allow us to benefit from the innovation in this region in complement to that of our Dijon site.”

Under the agreement, GSK will provide €35m to help Oncodesign in integrating the site and its capabilities into its business over the next four years.


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

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