GSK Plc has raised £886 million ($1.1 billion) from the latest sale of a tranche of shares in Haleon Plc, the consumer-health business it spun off last year.
(Bloomberg) — GSK Plc has raised £886 million ($1.1 billion) from the latest sale of a tranche of shares in Haleon Plc, the consumer-health business it spun off last year.
The British drug company sold 270 million shares at a price of 328 pence, according to a regulatory announcement Friday. The price reflects a discount of about 2.5% to Haleon’s closing price on Thursday.
Accelerated offerings are typically priced at a discount to entice shareholders to buy into the deal.
Haleon stock dropped 2% in early trading in London. GSK was little changed.
The sale leaves GSK’s with a 7.4% stake in Haleon, the maker of Aquafresh toothpaste and Panadol.
Haleon was originally formed from a combination of GSK’s and Pfizer Inc.’s consumer health units.
GSK decided to separate Haleon so it could better focus on its pharma and vaccines business. Headed by Chief Executive Officer Emma Walmsley, GSK is trying to strengthen its drug pipeline, with recent success on a vaccine against RSV, a common virus that can be deadly.
The spinoff aimed at strengthening the prospects of both GSK and Haleon following pressure from activist investor Elliott Investment Management.
Since the spinoff, GSK has said that it intended to treat its stake in Haleon like a financial investment, using proceeds raised to strengthen its balance sheet and help support its aim to improve its drug pipeline.
Read More: GSK’s £30 Billion Consumer-Health Arm Makes London Debut
The stake sale comes less than six months after GSK offloaded about £804 million ($978 million) worth of Haleon stock. Pfizer has also indicated it will gradually sell down its stake in Haleon as part of its move to focus on pharma innovations.
“Investors would likely prefer a bigger placement than this 2.9% by GSK,” said Bruno Monteyne, an analyst at Bernstein. He said that until Pfizer, which owns about a third of Haleon, starts selling down its shares a large overhang on the stock remains.
“If a decent sized placement of about 10% was done (i.e. Pfizer starting to sell) then investors can properly judge the appetite for this stock and start seeing an end to this tunnel,” he said in a note to clients.
Bank of America Corp and Citigroup Inc. are global coordinators on the offering. The banks gathered demand in excess of the offering size within minutes of putting the block on the market, according to terms seen by Bloomberg.
(Updates with share price in fourth paragraph, adds additional context)
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.