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GlaxoSmithKline says Novartis deal could lead to more disposals

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

LONDON (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline said the group's deal with Novartis narrowed its focus on the key areas of vaccines, respiratory, consumer and HIV medicines, and could be followed by the disposal of its portfolio of older drugs.

Chief Executive Andrew Witty said the core areas made up 70 percent of the business and it was accelerating a review of its established product portfolio that made up about half of the rest.

"You should not be surprised if we were able to transact a disposal of some of that established product portfolio in the next year or two," he told reporters on a conference call. "That is not part of our future."

The British company announced a multi-part deal on Monday that sees GlaxoSmithKline take the lead in running a consumer health business with Novartis, while selling its oncology unit to the Swiss company.

Witty said he continued to rule out traditional large-scale M&A deals, in which large drugs company are bolted together, instead favoring other tie-ups that focused on areas in which GlaxoSmithKline could be a leading player.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/140422/glaxosmithkline-says-novartis-deal-could-lead-more-disposals