Drugmaker GSK Expands Presence in Chinese Market

Takes control of Chinese vaccines maker

GlaxoSmithKline announced on June 14 that it has agreed to buy out its partner in a Chinese vaccines joint venture for $39 million. It will acquire the 51% interest of Shenzhen Neptunus in the joint venture company, Shenzhen GSK-Neptunus Biologicals Co. Ltd. (GSKNB).

"After approval of this agreement by the Peoples Republic of China authorities, GSK will become the sole owner of GSKNB," a statement said.

The London-listed pharmaceuticals giant, under the leadership of chief executive Andrew Witty, is seeking to increase its exposure to fast-growing emerging markets.

"The decision to acquire the outstanding interest ... reflects GSK's intention to further expand its vaccines presence in China through the establishment of local vaccine manufacturing capability," the firm added.

The GSKNB joint venture was created in June 2009 and focuses on the development and manufacture of seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines for China, Hong Kong and Macau.

GSK raised its stake from 40% to 49% last year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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