GlaxoSmithKline in £4bn swoop on biopharma firm

GlaxoSmithKline is to acquire oncology-focused US pharma business Tesaro for 5.1 billion US dollars (£4 billion).

The FTSE 100-listed group will pay 75 US dollars per share in cash for Tesaro and also assume the firm’s net debt.

Tesaro is a commercial-stage biopharma company and its marketed product Zejula is currently approved for treatment of ovarian cancer in both the US and Europe.

Zejula is also being investigated for its potential use in breast, lung, and prostate cancer patients.

Zejula booked 166 million US dollars (£130 million) in revenue in the nine months to September 30.

Nicola Sturgeon visit to GlaxoSmithKline
GlaxoSmithKline chief executive Emma Walmsley (Andy Buchanan/PA)

Chief executive Emma Walmsley said: “The acquisition of Tesaro will strengthen our pharmaceuticals business by accelerating the build of our oncology pipeline and commercial footprint, along with providing access to new scientific capabilities.

“This combination will support our aim to deliver long-term sustainable growth and is consistent with our capital allocation priorities.”

The Tesaro acquisition is expected to have a mid-to-high single-digit impact on Glaxo’s adjusted earnings per share for the first two years before becoming accretive to adjusted earnings per share by 2022.

Glaxo’s guidance remains unchanged for 2018 but, following the acquisition, it expects the adjusted earnings per share growth at constant exchange for the 2016 to 2020 period to be “at the bottom end” of the mid-to-high single-digit percentage compound annual growth rate range.

The deal will be funded by Glaxo from existing cash resources.

Shares in Glaxo were down more than 5% at 1,527.2p following the news.

The deal comes on the same day that GSK said Unilever is to acquire Horlicks and a clutch of other health drink brands in India from the drugs maker for £3.3 billion.

GSK’s listed Indian consumer healthcare business will be merged with Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), forming one of the largest food and refreshment groups in the country.