Pfizer gains almost 3% on JV with GlaxoSmithKline

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GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world's biggest pharmaceutical companies, announced that it will split in two Wednesday as part of a new joint venture with US -based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

To achieve this, GSK intends to separate the JV as an independent company - within three years of closing the transaction - via a demerger of its equity interest to its shareholders and listing the firm on the United Kingdom equity market.

GSK plans divestments of some £1 billion. Annual costs will be slashed by 500 million pounds.

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It comes after pressure from shareholders for Glaxo to spin off its consumer division.

The revamp is the boldest move yet by chief executive Emma Walmsley, who took over previous year.

Within three years of closing of the deal Glaxo intends to separate and float the joint venture in London, which will be one of two separate companies: one focused on consumer healthcare and the other on pharmaceuticals and vaccines.

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"Ultimately, our goal is to create two exceptional, UK-based global companies, with appropriate capital structures, that are each well positioned to deliver improving returns to shareholders and significant benefits to patients and consumers".

Earlier this month, she agreed to buy cancer drug specialist Tesaro for US$5.1 billion to try to revitalize its pharmaceuticals business, a high-priced acquisition that was poorly received by the market.

"Pfizer and GSK have an excellent track record of creating successful collaborations, and we look forward to working together again to unlock the potential of our combined consumer healthcare businesses", he added. The maker of Viagra and the nerve pain treatment Lyrica said it also will have an Innovative Medicines segment, which focuses on biological science and will bring in most of the company's revenue, and an Established Medicines business that include sales for older drugs like the cholesterol pill Lipitor that have lost patent protection.

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The company said the reorganization will occur in 2019, which is also when Chief Operating Officer Albert Bourla will become CEO, replacing Read.