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UCB to divest selected smaller markets to further focus on its key strategic areas

  • GSK to acquire from UCB commercial operations and product distribution rights for selected markets in the Far-East, Middle-East, Latin America and Africa
  • UCB receives EUR 515 million in cash
UCB to further focus in-line with its SHAPE programme on its core areas in Central Nervous System (CNS) and immunology and to strengthen its presence in strategic markets including the U.S., Europe, Japan, major emerging and international markets 

Brussels (Belgium), January 23, 2009 - press release, regulated information - UCB has agreed with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), to sell current UCB business and UCB affiliates in selected emerging markets for a cash compensation of EUR 515 million upon closing of the transaction expected in late March 2009. The commercial operations and product distribution rights to be acquired by GSK represent approximately 3-4% (three to four percent) of UCB's 2008 expected revenue of at least EUR 3.3 billion.

The agreement includes more than fifty UCB operations in the following geographic regions: Far-East, Middle-East, Latin America and Africa. This agreement does not include among other countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China, South-Korea or Mexico which are considered by UCB as strategic emerging markets. The agreement covers principally all currently marketed UCB products and staff in the regions mentioned above. It does not include UCB's new core products such as Vimpat® (lacosamide), Neupro® (rotigotine), Cimzia® (certolizumab pegol), nor does it provide rights to any of UCB's research & development pipeline programmes.

"This is a win-win agreement", said Roch Doliveux, CEO of UCB. "Consistent with our core strategies outlined by the SHAPE programme, UCB focuses on its core areas while GSK acquires assets which fit with its growth and diversification strategy. UCB will continue to strengthen its core indication areas CNS and immunology and its presence in its key strategic markets to bringing new medicines to patients who suffer from serious diseases."

Further details of the agreement are not disclosed.


Notes to Editors:


In summer last year, UCB launched "SHAPE", a major global project designed to drive its transformation into a specialist company focused on the indication areas of the central nervous system (CNS) and immunology while strengthening its presence in core strategic markets, including the U.S., Europe, Japan, major emerging and international markets.


In early January 2009, UCB announced a strategic alliance with the German oncology specialist Wilex to develop UCB's preclinical oncology portfolio. Consistent with the principals of the SHAPE strategy this enables UCB to further focus on its core areas.


With SHAPE, the company increases its focus on core assets, re-deploys its resources, advances research and development, and simplifies its organization, while bringing new medicines to patients.


With the ongoing execution of the SHAPE strategy UCB confirms its 2009 financial guidance of a recurring EBITDA* of at least EUR 650 million.


UCB is actively pursuing its transformation into a leading biopharmaceutical company by continuing to invest in its late stage pipeline and innovative breakthrough research, while preparing launches of several new products in its core areas of CNS and immunology. With the recent approvals of Cimzia® for Crohn's disease in the U.S. and of Vimpat® for epilepsy in the Europe and in the U.S., UCB has reached the right point in time to transform into a specialist company.


*(Earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortisation)


About UCB
UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb.com) is a global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the research, development and commercialisation of innovative medicines focused on central nervous system and immunology disorders. Employing more than 10 000 people in over 40 countries, UCB aims to reach revenues of EUR 3.3 billion in 2008. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels(symbol: UCB).


Further information
Antje Witte, Corporate Communications & Investor Relations, UCB
T +32.2.559.9414,


Michael Tuck-Sherman, Investor Relations, UCB
T +32.2.559.9712,


Forward looking statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on current plans, estimates and beliefs of management. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to be materially different from those that may be implied by such forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Important factors that could result in such differences include: changes in general economic, business and competitive conditions, effects of future judicial decisions, changes in regulation, exchange rate fluctuations and hiring and retention of employees.

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