Drug giants GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis say they have formally closed on a deal valued at more than $21 billion to changes each company in dramatic fashion. Plus, they are moving ahead with a joint venture focusing on consumer healthcare.

GSK (NYSE: GSK) and Novartis (NYSE: NVS) announced the deal in April 2014 and indicated last week that the final closing was near. Both companies have a major presence in the Triangle.

Under the deal, GSK acquires the global vaccine business from Novartis, making it the world’s largest supplier.

However, the deal does not include the $1 billion plant Novartis built in Holy Springs. That was sold in a separate deal to an Australian firm in October.

GSK is paying Novartis $5.25 billion for the vaccine business.

WTW Coverage of GSK-Novartis deal:

  • Slideshow: How the deal reshapes Novartis
  • Slideshow: How the deal reshapes GSK
  • GSK’s Witty: Deal will boost earnings
  • The deal: GSK, Novartis announce $21.5 billion deal

Novartis, meanwhile, is acquiring GSK’s oncology drug pipeline for some $16 billion.

The two firms also are forming a joint venture focused on consumer healthcare. GSK will own 63.5 percent of that business.

The deal is part of GSK CEO Andrew Witty to transform the company. Glaxo is laying off some 900 workers in the Triangle, half of whom will be transferred to another company. Deirdre Connelly, GSK’s head of U.S. operations, also retired last month as part of the shakeup.

The company is struggling to deal with declining sales of some top products, especially in the U.S., and also was fined some $450 million for a drug scandal in China last year. Witty’s pay was slashed as a result, his compensation falling for the second straight year.

In a statement, GSK said it expects to net some $7.8 billion after taxes.

“Completion of this transaction represents a major step forward in the Group’s strategy to create a stronger and more balanced set of businesses across Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Healthcare and Vaccines,” Witty said in a statement.

“We will now be focused on rapidly implementing our integration plans to realize the growth and synergy opportunities we see in the new Consumer Healthcare and Vaccines businesses. We look forward to sharing more details of this with our shareholders on 6 May [at the annual shareholders meeting].”