GlaxoSmithKline has revealed that it will not bid for Pfizer’s consumer healthcare business, pulling out of the process just days after rival suitor Reckit Benckiser stepped away from a potential deal.
In a short statement, the firm’s chief executive Emma Walmsley said: “While we will continue to review opportunities that may accelerate our strategy, they must meet our criteria for returns and not compromise our priorities for capital allocation.”
The Financial Times cited people familiar with the situation as saying GSK had undertaken due diligence on the deal but then decided not to go ahead with a bid.
Various media reports suggest Pfizer was hoping to get as much as $20 billion for its consumer business, which includes the Advil painkiller range.
According to Reuters, the drug giant is continuing to look at potential alternatives for its assets, including a spin-off, sale or other transaction, or keeping them in house.
“We have not yet made a decision, but continue to expect to make one in 2018,” a spokesman said.
GSK’s shares had risen more than 4 percent in early morning trading as investors welcomed the news.