GlaxoSmithKline & Pfizer Are Holding Out For Higher Bid In Joint Venture

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer are holding out for an improved bid of at least £60 billion (US$82 billion) for their consumer healthcare joint venture, bolstered by shareholder opposition to Unilever’s £50 billion (US$68.4 billion) offer, reported The Financial Times.

GSK dismissed Unilever’s bid on Saturday, January 15, as “fundamentally undervalued”, as it revealed improved forecasts for the business. A 25% premium to the estimated value of the business — which would push a bid above £60 billion — would warrant serious consideration from the board, according to one person close to Pfizer. Another person familiar with the matter said it would be “hard to turn down.”  

GSK had been planning to spin off the unit, in which it owns a 68%t stake, but has been under pressure to consider a sale, including from US hedge fund Elliott Management. 

Marco Taricco, co-chief investment officer at Bluebell Capital Partners, another activist investor pushing for GSK to consider a sale, said, “Based on the limited information we have so far, £50bn sounds like a floor, but it should be improved, either by Unilever or by someone else.”

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