GlaxoSmithKline Announces 653-Million-Pound Emerging-Market Investment


LONDON -- The shares of GlaxoSmithKline (ISE: GSK.L) (NYS: GSK) slipped 4 pence to 1,343 pence in early London trade this morning after the group announced two deals to help it generate greater profits from consumer brands within two emerging markets.

The FTSE 100 member said it would pay up to 591 million pounds to buy up to 32% of GSK Consumer Healthcare, the firm's publicly traded subsidiary in India. Glaxo already owns 43% of the subsidiary, and its 3,900 Indian rupee per-share tender offer comes at a 28% premium to the prevailing price.

David Redfern, Glaxo's chief strategy officer, said:

GSK Consumer Healthcare is a well established business in India and its leading product, Horlicks, is an iconic household brand. This transaction represents a further step in GSK's strategy to invest in the world's fastest growing markets and, we believe, offers a liquidity opportunity at an attractive premium for existing shareholders.

Glaxo also announced today that it would spend up to 62 million pounds buying a further 34% of GSK Consumer Nigeria, the firm's publicly traded Nigerian subsidiary. Glaxo already owns 46% of this business, and its 48 Nigerian naira per-share offer is 28% higher than the price last week.

Describing the Nigerian deal, David Redfern said:

This Proposal to increase GSK's ownership of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria reiterates our long term support of the Company's strategy and our confidence in the continuing growth prospects of the business.

Glaxo also highlighted the rapid growth of the two emerging-market subsidiaries. Sales at the Indian business have compounded at an average of 19% a year for the last five years, while the last four years have seen sales at the Nigerian operation compound at a 21% average.

Deals such as these may underpin the investment attractions of Glaxo. Indeed, Glaxo is just one of a number of FTSE large-caps that currently offers a dividend income well ahead of what you can expect to receive from a standard savings account.

At the moment, Glaxo's trailing 73 pence per share payout supports a 5.4% dividend yield.

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