GlaxoSmithKline shares topped the FTSE 100 index on Tuesday following a report that the pharmaceuticals giant’s consumer unit was drawing interest from private equity firms in what could lead to the biggest buyout of all time.
According to Bloomberg, Glaxo’s advisers are informally fielding interest in the operations alongside preparations for a listing. It was understood that Advent International, Blackstone, Carlyle Group, CVC Capital Partners, KKR and Permira are among potential suitors evaluating the business.
Bloomberg also cited people familiar with the matter as saying the consumer unit could attract some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical and consumer goods companies and could be valued at £40bn or more.
At 1225 BST, the shares were 2.4% higher at 1,426.40p.