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Marshall Wace makes £150m bet against consumer healthcare group Haleon

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Marshall Wace, the $65bn London-based hedge fund firm co-founded by Paul Marshall, has taken a £150m short position in Haleon, the FTSE 100 consumer healthcare company which was spun out of GSK two years ago, according to a report by The Times.

The report cites filings made with the Financial Conduct Authority in revealing the short – the first to be disclosed since Haleon’s listing – which equates to about 0.52% of the $30bn company’s stock.

Haleon’s shares closed at 327¾p on Friday, almost at parity with the company’s stock market debut price of 330p when it floated in July 2022 in the largest listing seen in London in over 10 years.

Haleon has since been through several ups and downs including its exposure to US litigation over heartburn drug Zantac’s links to cancer, which sent the company’s shares plummeting to less than 250p in September 2022.

News of Marshall Wace’s short position came the day Haleon issued a first-quarter trading update that showed a larger-than-expected decline in sales volumes, triggering a 2.5 per cent slide in its share price on the day.

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