Reaction to GSK’s plan to spin off its consumer healthcare business

Business

GSK set out plans on Wednesday to turn its consumer healthcare business into a separately listed company, aiming to strengthen drug development at its pharmaceuticals business with an 8 billion pound ($11 billion) windfall.

GSK said it aimed to sell a residual 20% stake in the newly listed consumer business “in a timely manner”.

Here is some analyst reaction:

JPMORGAN:

“We see the key positive for the market today being a smaller dividend cut than feared, we see the key negative for the market being the 20% sale of the Consumer stake, which will dilute GSK shareholders exposure to this segment, and which could see some value going to the taxman. The 2031 Biopharma Revenue target of more than 33 billion pounds ($46 billion)is far above our expectations.”

“Given fairly low expectations heading into today’s update, we believe shares could see slight outperformance on the smaller than feared dividend cut, and increased clarity on company expectations. For further outperformance, we will need to understand how GSK plan to get to their ambitious 2031 Revenue target, in particular, how they will navigate the dolutegravir patient expiry in 2028.”

JEFFERIES

“Timing the Buy is tricky but the current share price offers compelling value, in our view.”

QUILTER CHEVIOT

“GSK’s announcement contained a whole host of market friendly targets, including a welcome target for double digit profit growth over the next five years that will need to be underpinned by a belief in the products in development and the segments the company will be focusing on,” said Chris Beckett, head of equity research at investment firm Quilter Cheviot.

“The dividend reset, which works out at a 31% cut, is hardly good news, but it is not unexpected considering long-term concerns around true free cash flow cover. At 55p, the aggregate dividend across the two new companies works out to be a yield of 3.9% for FY22 versus the 6% yield for FY21.”

“It will not be a completely clean break from the new consumer business. The rationale for an ongoing investment in the consumer business will need to be explained by the executives. Investors won’t appreciate the overhang.” ($1 = 0.7153 pounds)