GSK to lift stake in Nigerian unit in $98 mln deal

LONDON Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:17am EST

LONDON Nov 26 (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline Plc plans to raise its stake in its Nigerian consumer products unit to 80 percent in a 15.4 billion naira ($98 million) agreed deal, mirroring a similar move in India.

Both transactions will increase the British drugmaker's exposure to emerging markets and non-prescription products - a key objective of CEO Andrew Witty, who wants to reduce the group's reliance on "white pills in Western markets".

GSK said on Monday it would increase its holding in GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc to 80 percent from 46.4 percent, leaving it with the minimum 20 percent public shareholding required for a company to maintain a listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

It will offer 48 naira a share for the additional holding - a 28 percent premium to the price at which the stock closed on Friday.

GSK Nigeria sells a wide range of consumer healthcare products, including the painkiller Panadol, Sensodyne toothpaste, and the nutritional drinks Horlicks and Lucozade.

The Nigerian unit also sells some pharmaceutical products but 70 percent of the revenue is from consumer healthcare brands.

GSK earlier announced it was raising its stake in India's GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd to 75 percent from 43.2 percent, in a deal worth some $940 million.

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