GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to break-up its healthcare business in a £10 billion merger with Pfizer.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is set to hold a majority interest in the venture with 68%, whilst US rival Pfizer will have the remaining 32%.

News of the joint venture between the two pharmaceutical firms sent shares up during Wednesday morning trading.

GSK, whose brands include Panadol and Sensodyne, said that within three years of the merger, it plans to split into two distinct businesses of consumer alongside pharmaceuticals and vaccines.

Pfizer’s consumer products include the well-known Chapstick and Anadin. The merger is expected to bring in around £9.8 billion in annual sales.

“With our future intention to separate, the transaction also presents a clear pathway forward for GSK to create a new global pharmaceuticals/vaccines company, with an R&D [research and development] approach focused on science related to the immune system, use of genetics and advanced technologies, and a new world-leading consumer healthcare company.”

Emma Walmsley, chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, said:“Ultimately, our goal is to create two exceptional, UK-based global companies, with appropriate capital structures, that are each well positioned to deliver improving returns to shareholders and significant benefits to patients and consumers.”

Shares in Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) are currently down marginally -1.65%.

Meanwhile, shares in GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK) +6.63% as of 10:44AM (GMT).