Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

GSK Remains as Reckitt Pulls out of Pfizer Deal

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

GSK Remains as Reckitt Pulls out of Pfizer Deal

Article excerpt

Byline: PHARMACEUTICALS Joanna Bourke

EMMA Walmsley was today facing her biggest test since taking the reins at GLAXOSMITHKLINE a year ago, as Britain's largest drugmaker became the front-runner to secure a multibillion pound purchase from rival Pfizer.

The pharmaceuticals firm is in pole position to buy New York-based Pfizer's consumer healthcare business after Nurofen maker Reckitt Benckiser shocked the City last night by withdrawing from bidding.

Offers are due today for the division which includes over-thecounter brands such as Chapstick lip balm and painkiller Advil. Pfizer, it is understood, had hoped for $20 billion (PS14 billion) but that could fall with just one bidder left.

Johnson& Johnson, Sanofi and Nestle had already pulled out of the race, and Reckitt Benckiser's decision to follow suit potentially clears the path for Walmsley to move forward with her plans laid out last year to prioritise growth in the US.

Walmsley (pictured), one of only a handful of FTSE 100 female bosses, has previously said the firm's strategy could include buying competitors. …

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