GlaxoSmithKline has invited private equity firms to consider making offers for a range of its older drugs, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

The move is part of a reshaping of the drugmaker's business, which also involves a major asset swap deal with Novartis.

Chief Executive Andrew Witty said last month that Britain's biggest pharmaceuticals company could dispose of individual medicines or a broader portfolio of older established products. A GSK spokesman had no further comment on potential disposals on Thursday.