As drugmakers around the industry look to selloffs, spinoffs and pipeline trims to refocus their operations—and amid challenges from COVID-19—GlaxoSmithKline is planning to start unloading all or part of its Unilever stake in India, Bloomberg reports.
The British drug giant, which holds 5.7% of Hindustan Unilever Limited, plans to kick off a series of block trades, the news service reports, citing people familiar with the plans. The stake is reportedly valued at $3.7 billion.
GSK picked up the Unilever stake as part of its sale of Horlicks—a deal that closed just this month. In December 2018, GSK agreed to sell the nutrition drinks brand to Unilever; under the deal, GSK got a piece of the combined Indian company.
Back when it inked the deal, GSK signaled its intention to sell down the stake over time.
GSK hasn’t made its final decision on the timing of the stake sale, and it could hold the shares pending market conditions, Bloomberg reports.
The news comes as companies worldwide face challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. On Wednesday, GSK warned that despite its performance so far this year, the COVID-19 pandemic is a "very dynamic and uncertain situation" and risks remain. Those risks include manufacturing and clinical trial disruptions, limits to patient access and more.