GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer arm to be named Haleon after it is spun off later this year
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has unveiled the name of the consumer healthcare business that it plans to spin out later this year.
It will be called Haleon, a combination of the Old English word ‘Hale’, meaning ‘in good health’, and ‘Leon’ which the company said is associated with the word ‘strength’.
The name was developed with input from staff, healthcare practitioners and consumers and will be used in over 100 markets.
Scrutiny: GSK’s chief exec Emma Walmsley’s (pictured) plans to spin off the business came under fire last year from activist investor Elliott Management
Brian McNamara, chief executive-designate of Haleon, said it aimed to ‘deliver better everyday health with humanity’.
When the separation is complete, Haleon will own a large portfolio of well-known brands including Sensodyne toothpaste, Panadol painkillers and Centrum vitamins.
Around 800 GSK staff will be moved from the headquarters in Brentford to temporary offices in Weybridge, Surrey, while a corporate HQ for Haleon is constructed.
The firm will also be listed on the London Stock Exchange as a separate entity, with a value of £60billion, making it a candidate for the FTSE 100 index.
That would mean Haleon is worth more than mining giant Glencore as well as banks Lloyds and Barclays. The board will be chaired by former Tesco chief Dave Lewis.
The name received a muted reception from investors, with shares dipping 0.2 per cent, or 3.8p, to 1557.6p yesterday.
Haleon’s emergence comes ahead of a planned capital markets day on Monday when GSK will provide investors with more detail on its strategy and operations.
It follows months of pressure on chief executive Emma Walmsley, whose plans to spin off the business came under fire last year from activist investor Elliott Management.
The feared hedge fund argued the division should be sold rather than floated. It also said Walmsley should reapply for her job at what is left of GSK once Haleon is split off.
Last month, GSK rebuffed offers for the business from consumer goods giant Unilever, which sparked a backlash from investors against Unilever boss Alan Jope.
There were developments yesterday at rival Astrazeneca, which said chairman Leif Johansson, 69, will retire next year.
He has held the role since 2012 and courted controversy last year when he decided to stay despite his tenure exceeding nine years, the period considered best practice under corporate governance rules.