After 51 Years, GlaxoSmithKline To Shut Down Operations In Nigeria

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc has announced plans to shut down its operations in the country.

This was disclosed in a press statement issued on Thursday and filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited. It was signed by the Company Secretary, Frederick Ichekwai.

The company, whose primary activities include marketing and distribution of consumer healthcare and pharmaceutical products, said that its parent company, GSK Plc UK, had revealed its intent to cease commercialization of its prescription medicines and vaccines through its Nigerian subsidiary.

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Part of the statement read, “In our published Q2 results we disclosed that the GSK UK Group has informed GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria PLC of its strategic intent to cease commercialization of its prescription medicines and vaccines in Nigeria  through the GSK local operating companies and transition to a third-party direct distribution model for its pharmaceutical products.”

The company said it will be briefing its employees, whom it promised to “Treat fairly, respectfully and with care, meeting all applicable legal and consultation requirements.”

In responsibility to shareholders, the statement said that 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, a draft Scheme of Arrangement which may, if approved, see shareholders other than GSK UK, receive an accelerated cash distribution and return of capital.”

Meanwhile, GSK said it will appoint a third-party distributor in Nigeria for the supply of its consumer healthcare products.

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc was incorporated in 1971. 46.4 per cent of the shares of the Company are held by Setfirst Limited and Smithkline Beecham Limited (both incorporated in the United Kingdom); and 53.6 per cent by Nigerian shareholders. The ultimate parent and ultimate controlling party is GlaxoSmithKline Plc, United Kingdom (GSK Plc UK). GSK Plc UK controls the Company through Setfirst Limited and Smithkline Beecham Limited.