GSK seeks share­hold­ers’ ap­proval to di­vest $79.2m drinks busi­ness

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - From Omobayo Azeez, Lagos

Glax­oSmithK­line Con­sumer Nige­ria Plc (GSK), a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and health­care com­pany, has sought the con­sent of its share­hold­ers over a bind­ing of­fer from Suntory Bev­er­age & Food Ltd (SBF) for the di­vest­ment of its drinks bot­tling and dis­tri­bu­tion busi­ness val­ued at $79.2 mil­lion.

The di­vest­ment de­ci­sion, ten­dered by its board be­fore the share­hold­ers at the Ex­traor­di­nary Gen­eral Meet­ing held Mon­day, in Lagos, was de­scribed by GSK chair­man, Board of Di­rec­tors, Ed­mund Onuzo, as nec­es­sary to en­able GSK Nige­ria re­fo­cus and rein­vest in the rapid ex­pan­sion of the re­tained busi­ness port­fo­lio and de­liver more value to share­hold­ers.

Onuzo promised that de­spite the trans­ac­tion, GSK Nige­ria would still be listed on the Nige­ria Stock Ex­change.

“It will also con­tinue to man­u­fac­ture, mar­ket, and dis­trib­ute a port­fo­lio of health­care brands in­clud­ing Sen­so­dyne, Panadol, Hor­licks and, in fu­ture, the legacy No­var­tis brands, such as Voltaren and Otrivin,” he added.

Ear­lier in its An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing (AGM) ses­sion, the share­hold­ers had ap­proved 30k per share which was rec­om­mended by the board as div­i­dend for the year ended De­cem­ber 31, 2015. The div­i­dend to­talled N358.761 mil­lion.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port of the 45th AGM, GSK recorded a turnover of N30.634 bil­lion in 2015; pre-tax profit dropped 58 per­cent to N1.157 bil­lion from N2.752 bil­lion recorded a year ago.

Sim­i­larly, profit af­ter tax dipped 47.8 per­cent to N965.047 mil­lion from N1.848 bil­lion de­clared in the same pe­riod of 2014.

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