June 22, 2017 / 9:16 PM / in 5 months

GSK's new CEO aims to divest sports nutrition brand: sources

LONDON (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s new Chief Executive Officer Emma Walmsley is shaking up the British drugmaker’s portfolio of smaller products with plans to divest its MaxiNutrition sports nutrition brand, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Emma Walmsley, CEO Designate of GlaxoSmithKline is seen in this undated photograph released in London, Britain, on February 1, 2017. Courtesy of GlaxoSmithKline/HANDOUT via REUTERS

GSK bought the business, which makes protein bars, drinks and powders, for 162 million pounds ($205 million) in 2010 under previous CEO Andrew Witty. It is best known for its Maximuscle products for weight-trainers.

The original acquisition was seen as complementing GSK’s Lucozade sports drinks. Lucozade, however, was sold in 2013 and Walmsley, who took over on April 1, has decided the UK-focused MaxiNutrition business no longer fits in the wider group.

GSK’s consumer healthcare business, which was previously led by Walmsley and includes an extensive range of over-the-counter medicines, is heavily geared towards global brands.

The proceeds from the sale of MaxiNutrition will not move the dial significantly at the drugs giant, which has a market value of 85 billion pounds, but the decision shows Walmsley is ready to reverse past management decisions.

A spokesman for GSK declined to comment on the divestment plans, which were first reported by Sky News.

Walmsley is due to outline her vision for GSK alongside half-year results next month. She has already made clear that a key priority will be improving research productivity in the core prescription drug business.

($1 = 0.7885 pounds)

Reporting by Ben Hirschler and Pamela Barbaglia; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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