Shares in GSK have been in the doldrums since the market started to fret about legal action concerning heartburn treatment Zantac and accusations that it causes cancer.
Investors have feared it could be forced to pay out billions in compensation.
AJ Bell’s Russ Mould said: “Slowly, GSK seems to be winning the battle after a Canadian court dismissed a proposed class action, following a similar move in the US late last year.
“While the legal fight is not over, the latest news gives investors a new reason to reappraise GSK, along with news that it has successfully sold a chunk of its shares in Haleon at a near-market price. The business was created from assets owned by GSK and Pfizer, and the two drug companies remained shareholders when the demerger happened.
“They both said they would sell down their positions in time, but the ease at which GSK has placed 240 million shares in Haleon would suggest it won’t have a problem selling the remaining 10.3% stake in the business.
“Essentially that is also good news for Haleon and the perceived risk to its share price from the significant overhang – there is nothing worse than two major shareholders openly saying they don’t want to keep their shares for long.”
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