GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis have today completed a $20-billion-plus, three-part mega deal to exchange assets and establish a new consumer healthcare joint venture.

GSK has acquired Novartis’ global Vaccines business (excluding influenza jabs) for an initial cash sum of $5.25 billion; created a new Consumer Healthcare joint venture with Novartis in which GSK will have majority control with an equity interest of 63.5%; and has divested its Oncology business for $16 billion.

GSK said the deal leaves it with after tax proceeds of around $7.8 billion, of which £4 billion will be handed back to shareholders, and promised more details at a financial results and investor meeting on May 6. Novartis said it will record a “substantial exceptional gain”, details of which will be reported with its 2015 first-quarter results.

Completion of the transaction represents “a major step forward” in GSK’s strategy to create “a stronger and more balanced set of businesses across Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Healthcare and Vaccines,” noted chief executive Sir Andrew Witty, while Novartis CEO Joseph Jiminez said the move “further establishes our leading positions in key growing business segments” and should “improve margin performance”.