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GSK Nigeria is getting delisted from the Nigerian Stock Exchange


GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Nigeria, the Nigerian branch of the British multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, has recently been delisted from the Nigerian Stock Exchange in December 2023.

The delisting followed GSK's decision to cease operations in Nigeria and transition to a third-party distribution model for its pharmaceutical products. This decision was made by the parent company, GSK Plc UK, after evaluating its operational options.

GSK decided to move away from directly operating in Nigeria and instead rely on a third-party company to distribute its products. This meant the company no longer needed to be listed on the stock exchange.

As part of the delisting process, GSK bought back all outstanding shares from shareholders except its parent company, GSK UK. This resulted in the company no longer having publicly traded shares, another requirement for listing on the exchange. GSK received the necessary approvals from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal High Court to proceed with the delisting and share buyback.

Accessing and repatriating foreign currency in Nigeria has been difficult due to the country's complex FX regulations and limitations. This made it challenging for GSK to import raw materials and repatriate profits, impacting their ability to operate smoothly.

The Nigerian pharmaceutical market has seen a rise in competition from local and international companies, particularly those offering cheaper generic drugs. GSK, which traditionally focused on branded products, may have struggled to compete effectively in this new landscape. Thus, doing business in Nigeria can be expensive due to factors like inflation, infrastructure challenges, and security concerns. These rising costs might have squeezed GSK's margins and made it difficult to maintain profitability.

Furthermore, GSK may have found the Nigerian business environment unpredictable due to frequent changes in regulations and policies. This lack of stability could have made it difficult for the company to plan for the future and invest in long-term growth.

GSK's parent company, GSK Plc UK, might have been undergoing a broader strategic shift towards focusing on specific areas of the pharmaceutical market. This could have led them to prioritize resources in other parts of the world and view their direct operations in Nigeria as less strategically important.

It's important to note that there might be other contributing factors or nuances to GSK's decision that haven't been publicly disclosed. However, the reasons mentioned above provide a general understanding of the challenges and circumstances that likely led them to move away from directly operating in Nigeria.

The delisting of GSK has generated mixed reactions. Some stakeholders have expressed concerns about the loss of jobs and tax revenue associated with the company's exit. Others have argued that the delisting reflects the challenging business environment in Nigeria, which has seen several multinational companies leave the country in recent years.

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