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GSK to increase stake in India unit up to 75% in $939 million deal

11:55 pm by | 0 Comments

MUMBAI (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline Plc plans to buy up to an additional 31.8 percent stake in its Indian consumer products arm GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd for 52.2 billion rupees ($939 million), sending shares of the Indian unit to a record high.

GlaxoSmithKline plans to raise its stake in GSK Consumer Healthcare to 75 percent from 43.2 percent, paying 3,900 rupees per share through an open offer, it said in a statement. The price represents a premium of 28 percent to the stock's Friday close.

The offer period is expected to begin in January 2013.

"This transaction represents a further step in GSK's strategy to invest in the world's fastest growing markets and, we believe, offers a liquidity opportunity at an attractive premium for existing shareholders," said David Redfern, chief strategy officer at GlaxoSmithKline.

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Shares in GSK Consumer Healthcare were locked at 3,659.20 rupees, up 20 percent, their maximum daily trading limit, while the Mumbai market was up 0.23 percent, by 10.47 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Securities regulations in India require a minimum public shareholding of 25 percent for a company to maintain a public listing.

($1 = 55.5850 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Kaustubh Kulkarni and Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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