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GlaxoSmithKline announces name of independent healthcare company

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Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has announced that its healthcare business will be called Haleon once it becomes a separate entity. (Image: Golden Shrimp/Shutterstock)

LONDON, UK: In 2018, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, outlined its intention to separate its consumer healthcare portfolio into an independent entity. This is set to take place in mid-2022, and GSK has now revealed that the new company will be called Haleon.

The separation of GSK’s healthcare business, which is subject to approval from shareholders, will take place via a demerger of at least 80% of GSK’s stake in the business to shareholders later this year. According to a press release issued by GSK, Haleon’s name is derived from the words “hale”, an old English word meaning “in good health”, and “Leon”, a name associated with strength. Included in Haleon’s portfolio will be the paracetamol brand Panadol, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory Voltaren and the toothpaste brand Sensodyne.

In January, GSK revealed that it had recently rejected three takeover offers for its consumer healthcare business from multinational conglomerate Unilever, including a bid of £50 billion (approximately US$67 billion). GSK said that Unilever had undervalued the business and forecast annual organic sales growth of 4 to 6%.

“Introducing Haleon to the world marks another step in our journey to become a new, standalone company,” said Haleon CEO designate Brian McNamara. “Our name is grounded in our purpose to deliver better everyday health with humanity and to be a world leader in consumer healthcare. We are on track to launch Haleon in mid-2022 and our business momentum is strong.”

Emma Walmsley, GSK CEO, added that “Haleon has enormous potential to improve health and well-being across the world with strong prospects for growth, and through listing will unlock significant value for GSK shareholders”.

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