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GlaxoSmithKline set to exit Nigeria after 51 years of operation

The company said it resolved to exit the West African country after its board meeting and evaluation of options with GSK UK.

• August 3, 2023

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a British pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, has announced its plan to exit Nigeria after 51 years of operation in Nigeria. 

However, GSK Nigeria, in a statement by its secretary, Fredrick Ichekwai, said the exit would be in the coming months. The statement was sent to the Nigeria Exchange Limited (NGX).  

The company said it resolved to exit the West African country after its board meeting and evaluation of options with GSK UK. 

“The board of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc has concluded that there is no alternative but to cease operations,” GSK Nigeria said.

The development comes two months after the company lamented the difficulty in accessing currency, stating that it affected its supply of products to Nigeria.

“The challenge in accessing currency is affecting our ability to maintain a consistent supply of medicines and vaccines in the market,” it said in a statement by its spokesperson, Omongiade Ehighebolo.

Nonetheless, the company, in its latest statement, said it would appoint third-party distributors to supply medicines and healthcare products in Nigeria.

“The Haleon Group has also separately informed the board of its intent to terminate its distribution agreement in the coming months and to appoint a third-party distributor in Nigeria for the supply of its consumer healthcare products,” it said.

GSK Nigeria said it would ensure it meets legal requirements on the development with its employees and shareholders.

It advised shareholders to seek professional advice and exercise caution when dealing with the company’s shares until a further announcement. 

“The Board is conscious that shareholders will have many questions; we have been working assiduously with our professional advisors to agree on the next steps, and we will be shortly submitting to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) a draft Scheme of Arrangement which may if approved, see shareholders other than GSK UK, receive an accelerated cash distribution and return of capital,” it said. 

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc was incorporated in Nigeria on June 23, 1971, and commenced business on July 1, 1972, under Beecham Limited. 

The company was quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1977. 

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