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GSK sells stake in Quest Diagnostics
March 2011
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  LONDON—GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) recently sold its entire holding of nearly 31 million shares of common stock in Quest Diagnostics Inc., a provider of diagnostic laboratory testing, information and services. GSK originally acquired the shares as partial consideration for the sale of its clinical laboratories business in 1999 and has since gradually reduced its stake in stages. The offering and repurchase are expected to generate nearly $1.7 billion in gross proceeds to GSK. Net of tax, GSK expects to receive cash proceeds of approximately $1.1 billion.  
 
Commenting on the transaction, Julian Heslop, chief financial officer of GSK, says, "Whilst we have been pleased with our investment in Quest Diagnostics, we have been considering the sale of our remaining position in the company for some time. We have decided that now is a good time to take advantage of favorable market conditions, thereby releasing funds from one of our non-core assets. This divestment demonstrates our focus on generating attractive returns for our shareholders and our ability to monetize significant gains when appropriate."

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