July 19, 2022: -British drugmaker GSK turned off its consumer health business on Monday in the most extensive European listing for over a decade.
The new company, Haleon, has become the globe’s most extensive standalone consumer health business, home to brands including Sensodyne toothpaste and Advil anesthetics.
According to Reuters calculations, shares in Halon started trading at 330 pence on Monday, giving the business a market valuation of around 30.5 billion pounds.
“Ultimately, the market is going to determine what the value of the company is, certainly on Day 1 of trading, and for the long term,” Brian McNamara, CEO of Haleon, told CNBC on Monday. “This business will create value for shareholders in the short, long and medium term.”
There were high hopes for Haleon’s market valuation following GSK in January said it had rebuffed a 50 billion pound offer from Unilever because it was again low.
Excluding floats brought out through the Shanghai London Stock Connect, Haleon’s listing is the biggest on the London Stock Exchange, following Glencore was listed in May 2011 with a market cap of nearly 37 billion pounds, according to Refinitiv data.
“It is a bit of a volatile environment, with inflation and other things happening in the world, but I feel like we are uniquely positioned in categories that matter, with great brands to do well in any environment. So I feel good around the business and feel great about listing it today,” McNamara counted.
Meanwhile, GSK shares were up at 3.3%, despite the reduced size of the business following the carve-out.
GSK emerged as New GSK, focused only on vaccines and prescription drugs.
The business has been buoyed by initial clinical trial successes, including its potential blockbuster RSV vaccine and M&A activity.
There is the opportunity to use parts of the 7 billion pounds of financial firepower it will generate through the Haleon spin-off to fund more deals.
However, GSK has not achieved relative to its peers in the previous years, triggered by a falling share of R&D spending, a series of oncology clinical failures, and missing out on the lucrative market for the initial set of Covid-19 vaccines, despite being one of the planet’s major vaccine makers.