Glaxosmithkline has sold half its stake in former South African associate Aspen Pharmacare for £0.574bn.

Having sold 28.2m shares, at a price of 372 rand per share, GSK now holds a 6.2% stake in Aspen, South Africa’s largest drug company.

Glaxo has agreed not to dispose of any further shares in Aspen for a period of 180 days, subject to certain limited exceptions.

The FTSE 100-listed pharmaceuticals group said proceeds from the transaction will be used for general corporate purposes.

The net profit on disposal will not be included in core operating profit and core EPS in 2015 and it is expected that GSK will no longer account for Aspen as an associate going forward.

“GSK has a long and successful commercial partnership with Aspen and our investment in the company has grown in value significantly over time,” said chief financial officer Simon Dingemans