Glaxo SmithKline history
The on-off engagement of SmithKline Beecham and larger rival Glaxo Wellcome was finally concluded with the announcement in January 2000 that the two companies would merge to create Glaxo SmithKline, one of the world's biggest drug companies, with combined sales of over $26bn in 1999. Until the merger, SB was the UK's second ranking drug company after Glaxo Wellcome, although unlike its eventual partner it had a larger portfolio of OTC (over-the-counter) healthcare products, including household names like Panadol, Coldrex, Andrews, Macleans, Aquafresh, Horlicks, Lucozade and Ribena. (Advertising Age estimate a 1999 global media spend of $623m, of which $302m was outside the US, making it the world's #40 advertiser).
After several years of on-off negotiations, and then another year of regulatory investigation the marriage of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham was finally consummated in December 2000. Glaxo SmithKline is one of the world's biggest drug companies, with combined sales of over $26bn in 1999. Although smaller by market capitalisation than the merger of Pfizer and Warner-Lambert, GSK has a greater market share - an estimated 7.3% of the global pharmaceutical market to the American group's 6%. GSK also controls a substantial portfolio of over-the-counter healthcare products.