GlaxoSmithkline is selling half of its stake in South Africa’s Aspen Pharmacare to raise around £574 million.

The drugs giant is shedding 28.2 million shares in the group, after which it will retain a 6.2% stake.

Proceeds from the sale will be used to underpin a stronger focus on its core businesses, and gives the firm greater financial muscle to drive forward the benefits of its recent mega-deal with Novartis.