GSK share price: Company’s mature drugs eyed by Apollo

Written by: Jane Tindall
November 14, 2014, Friday, November 14: Apollo Global Management (NYSE:APO) is planning to join an auction for the sale of all of GlaxoSmithKline’s (LON:GSK) mature drugs, Reuters has reported.

According to unnamed sources, cited by the news agency yesterday, the US private equity firm would seek to buy all the products on offer, valued at more than £1.9 billion and expected to have combined 2014 sales of around £1 billion.
Apollo’s bid, if approved, would simplify GSK’s sale process, as it has to deal with a single buyer. Other bidders, such as private equity firm KKR, which has teamed up with private Dutch-based specialty drugmaker Norgine, and Denmark’s Lundbeck, are looking to acquire certain regional businesses of Britain’s biggest drugmaker.
GSK had asked for final bids by early next week, according to Reuters’ insiders. The company is being advised by Lazard in the sale process and aims to find buyers by the end of next year.
*h*Ebola vaccine trials kick off next month*h*
GSK has said that its Ebola vaccine will begin trials in West Africa next month. The company expects initial data from the early-stage studies, which will take place in Mali at a treatment centre run by the charity Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), to be available in February 2015.

GSK has developed the vaccine in conjunction with the US National Institutes of Health, and uses a single protein from the Ebola virus to set off an immune response.
Under normal circumstances, the vaccine would have to go through years of human trials before being approved for use, but the gravity of the current situation in West Africa led to the vaccine being fast-tracked under orders from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Ebola has already killed more than 5,000 people since the epidemic began in December last year, according to the latest figures from the UN’s health agency.
*h*Analysts on GSK share price*h*
As of 13:21 GMT, Glaxo’s shares were trading 0.62 percent higher at 1,463.00p. The stock has declined almost 10 percent in the year to date.
Of the 22 analysts projecting 12 month price targets for the FTSE 100-listed drugmaker for the Financial Times, the median target is 1,535.00p, with a high estimate of 1,758.00p and a low of 1.250.00p.
According to the FT, as of 8 November 2014, the consensus forecast amongst 57 polled investment analysts covering GSK has it that that investors should hold their position in the company.
**As of 13:07 GMT, buy GSK shares at 1,463.50p.**
**As of 13:07 GMT, sell GSK shares at 1,462.50p.**

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