RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer have finally closed on a multibillion-dollar merger that combined their consumer healthcare businesses, creating the world’s largest over-the-counter business.

The pharmaceutical giants — which own household names like Advil and Tums — announced the joint venture back in December 2018.

“Now the deal has closed, our focus will be on completing the integration of these two businesses and leveraging their combined strength,” GSK Consumer Heathcare’s CEO Brian McNamara said in a statement.

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.

GSK to merge healthcare business with Pfizer, plans to split in two