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Sunday, 14 March 2021

GSK is staying put — for now

GSK puts Egypt exit on the backburner: GlaxoSmithKline has shelved plans to sell its units in Egypt and Tunisia following the breakdown of talks with UK-listed Hikma Pharma, the company said in a disclosure (pdf) to the EGX today. The pharma giant initially wanted to sell its entire 91.2% stake in its Egypt-based pharma and manufacturing business, but said today that it is backing out of a sale. “GSK’s shareholders’ immediate focus is stabilising the operations of our company and the supply of meds and consumer healthcare products to our patients,” it said.

Acdima asked on 10 March to start due diligence on GSK’s Egypt operations, but GSK said in a separate statement (pdf) that its global parent company “is not willing to sell its shares in GSK SAE and therefore is not engaging in any sale process with any party at this time.” Still, GSK’s local board is meeting today to discuss the matter and will “announce its decision on Monday, 15 March 2021,” the statement said. Hapi Journal reported this morning that Acdima was planning to submit a bid this month.

This comes a few days after GSK and Hikma announced they had ended talks without an agreement. GSK chose to pursue talks with Hikma back in January, rejecting advances from Egyptian pharma companies Acdima and Rameda. Neither company has disclosed why the talks broke down.

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