Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline revealed in an investor update meeting that it would spin off the Consumer Healthcare division and likely slash its dividend. The company’s officials stated the following:
“The new Consumer Healthcare company will have a portfolio which generated annual sales of more than 10 billion pounds ($14 billion) in 2020 and is well-positioned for further growth.”
The separation is expected in mid-2022. GSK will list the consumer unit on the London Stock Exchange. It will keep as much as 20% of the business as a short-term investment to be sold later to strengthen the balance sheet.
Moreover, regarding its dividends, GlaxoSmithKline projects it will total 80 pence in 2021 and decrease to 55 pence in 2022.
The new company will adopt a progressive dividend policy targeting a payout ratio equivalent to 40% to 60%, starting at 45 pence per share in 2023, during its first year of existence. The announced cut is smaller than what analysts were looking for.
GSK ended the day up 1% in London. The stock went up 8% over the past six months.
Sources: Bloomberg.com, thestreet.com