GlaxoSmithKline hires advisers for possible ViiV Healthcare IPO: sources

According to people close to the situation, GlaxoSmithKline has hired financial advisers as the company weighs a partial initial public offering (IPO) for its ViiV Healthcare unit. The drugmaker announced in October last year that it was considering such a move for the HIV business.

Analysts suggest that ViiV could be worth at least 17 billion pounds ($25.9 billion), with GlaxoSmithKline holding a stake of nearly 80 percent, and Pfizer and Shionogi owning the remainder. The sources noted that GlaxoSmithKline is yet to make a firm decision about its plans for ViiV, adding that if an IPO goes ahead, it would be unlikely for about a year.

According to analysts, ViiV's sales are expected to increase from 1.4 billion pounds ($2.1 billion) in 2013 to 2.5 billion pounds ($3.8 billion) in 2018, boosted by the performance of the integrase inhibitor Tivicay (dolutegravir). On Wednesday, GlaxoSmithKline reported that fourth-quarter sales in the division climbed 25 percent on a constant currency basis to 462 million pounds ($704 million). Some analysts have also suggested that an IPO for ViiV could mark the start of a wider break-up at GlaxoSmithKline.

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