Slaughters and Cleary advise as GSK sells off half its stake sale in Aspen

This week has seen Slaughters amd May and Cleary Gottlieb advise GlaxoSmithKline as it slashed its shares in South African pharma company Aspen, selling off half of its 12.4 per cent stake for £574m.

This deal gives GSK a reduced share (6.2 per cent) in the drug manufacturer, and much more cash in hand to be able to invest in new business opportunities after its Novartis deal.

The company’s new strategy is to focus on its key investments following on from that deal, which means gaining capital from previous investments in peripheral companies. This means more work for both Slaughters and Cleary, who advised on the sale of GSK’s £194m stock in biotech company Genmab and its three-part deal with Novartis last year.

Last year was pharma heavy, with Steris and Pfizer making motions to take over, merge or sell assets. This year, AbbVie’s $21bn deal to buy Pharmacyclics and Pfizer’s $15bn deal to buy drugs specialist Hospira have already kicked off a strong round of pharma and biotech deals – we should expect a lot more movement before the music stops.

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