Finweek English Edition - - SIMON SAYS -

Back in Novem­ber 2013, Glax­oSmithK­line (GSK) sold a third of its hold­ings in Aspen, some 28.2m shares at R250 each. GSK has now just sold half of the re­main­ing shares it holds, an­other 28.2m, this time at R372. While this was a fairly deep dis­count to the R406.50 that Aspen had been trad­ing at the day be­fore, t he an­nounce­ment and t he mar­ket re­ac­tion sur­prised me. The Aspen shares were sold off some 6% cheaper. We saw the ex­act same re­sponse when GSK sold its stake in 2013 and Aspen re­bounded al­most im­me­di­ately, and I ex­pect ex­actly the same re­sponse this time around. The sell­ing pres­sure is l i kely to be peo­ple who sold at R372 mak­ing a quick prof it, but t here is also a lot of noise about why GSK is ex­it­ing Aspen. The short an­swer is sim­ple, Aspen i s not c or e t o GSK a nd it i s s el l i ng at si gnif i cant prof it . Fur­ther, GSK will even­tu­ally sel l t he re­main­ing shares t hat it holds in Aspen, and likely the mar­ket will sharply sell off Aspen again when it does, so use this as an op­por­tu­nity to get some Aspen at a dis­count.

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