GSK To Sell Part of its Stake in Aspen PharmacareBy
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has agreed to the sale of 28.2 million ordinary shares in Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd, a South African pharmaceutical company, at a price of South African Rand (ZAR) 372 ($31.36) per share, raising gross proceeds of approximately ZAR 10.5 billion ($885 million).
Following settlement of the sale, GSK will hold 28.2 million ordinary shares in Aspen, representing approximately 6.2% of the issued share capital. GSK has undertaken not to dispose of any further shares in Aspen for a period of 180 days following completion, subject to certain limited exceptions.
The gross proceeds of the transaction are equivalent to GBP 574 million ($884 million) at the prevailing exchange rate on March 12, 2015. Proceeds from the transaction will be used for general corporate purposes. The net profit on disposal will not be included in core operating profit and core earnings per share in 2015 and it is expected that GSK will no longer account for Aspen as an associate going forward.
Simon Dingemans, GSK's chief financial officer, said in a company statement: “GSK has a long and successful commercial partnership with Aspen, and our investment in the company has grown in value significantly over time. As we continue to reshape the Group around our core franchises and drive the benefits from the Novartis transaction, optimizing our financial flexibility to invest behind these priorities is key. As a result we have decided now is the right time to realize further value from this successful relationship. We continue to believe in the strategy of Aspen and we remain committed to working together in the future.