On the Up: SmithKline Beecham

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The Independent Online
SMITHKLINE BEECHAM was back at the top of speculators' lists of likely takeover targets after an $80bn (pounds 49.4bn) battle for Warner-Lambert in the US rekindled expectations of industry consolidation.

SmithKline Beecham duly saw its shares rocket 12 per cent last week, its best five-day run since a 13 per cent gain when an HSBC analyst last month said that SmithKline's stock was cheap compared with those of other drug makers.

SmithKline Beecham, Britain's third-biggest drug maker, last year held fruitless merger talks with Glaxo Wellcome and later with American Home Products, now one of the bidders for Warner- Lambert.