EU approves GSK and Novartis deal

The European Union (EU) has approved a deal between pharma giants GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Novartis.

Under the terms of the three-part deal, Novartis’ scope will become more focused and GSK will be transformed into a vaccines and consumer drug powerhouse.

The deal is worth more than £13.23 billion ($20 billion) in total.

The European Commission (EC), the EU’s top antitrust authority, approved the deals with the proviso that both firms divest a number of assets and sign distribution agreements aimed at alleviating competition concerns.

In April 2014, Novartis agreed to acquire GSK’s high-margin oncology unit for approximately $16 billion, while consenting to sell its lower-margin vaccines division to GSK for $5.5 billion.

The firms are also launching a joint venture, in which GSK will have the majority share, for its consumer business which covers over-the-counter drugs.

It is expected that the firms will together enjoy revenues of around $11 billion. The combined companies will own household brands including Excedrin and Panadol.