RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer are combining their consumer healthcare businesses in a multibillion-dollar merger.
The two pharmaceutical giants — which own household names like Advil and Tums — said Wednesday that the new company would have combined sales of $12.7 billion a year.
Both companies have operations in North Carolina.
GSK maintains a significant life science research team in Research Triangle Park and a manufacturing plant in Zebulon.
Pfizer, meanwhile, operates a large campus and manufacturing plant in Sanford as well as another plant in Rocky Mount. In 2016, Pfizer purchased Chapel Hill life science startup Bamboo Therapeutics for $150 million in cash up front with another $400 million possible based on drug development milestones.
The merger will bring together Pfizer’s big sellers like Centrum and Caltrate with GSK’s top brands, including Excedrin and Nicorette.
GSK, which is headquartered in Britain, will own just over two-thirds of the joint venture, with US-based Pfizer (PFE) holding the rest.
After the tie-up, GSK said it plans to split in two by spinning off the new consumer healthcare business and listing it in London within three years. GSK’s remaining operations will be focused on making prescription medicines and vaccines.
According to GSK, the deal “lays foundation for separation of GSK to create two new UK-based global companies focused on Pharmaceuticals/Vaccines and Consumer Healthcare.”
“Our goal is to create two exceptional, UK-based global companies,” GSK CEO Emma Walmsley said in a statement.
GSK shares jumped more than 6% in London following the announcement.