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GlaxoSmithKline K.K., formerly known as Glaxo Wellcome K.K., aims to be one of Japan’s top 10 pharmaceutical makers by 2003 after its merger Sunday with SmithKline Beecham Seiyaku K.K., a company executive said Friday.

The merged company will start operations as GlaxoSmithKline from the beginning of next month. Glaxo Wellcome changed its name in January.

The move followed the merger of their parent companies, Glaxo Wellcome PLC and SmithKline Beecham PLC, on Dec. 27, to form GlaxoSmithKline PLC, based in London.

The Japanese subsidiary will be capitalized at 2.05 billion yen, with the GlaxsoSmithKline group owning a 85 percent stake and Sumitomo Chemical Co. holding the rest.

Marc Dunoyer, president of the new Japanese company, said his firm, currently ranked No. 12 or No. 13 in the domestic market, will reinforce its sales operations by appointing 1,300 medical representatives as salespeople and optimizing information technology to achieve the goal.

He also said GlaxoSmithKline hopes to promote its ranking in Japan to top five between 2005 and 2010.

The combined sales of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham Seiyaku in Japan last year reached 148.7 billion yen, while its combined net profits were 15 billion yen.

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