Sep 18, 2018

Nestlé, Unilever and Coca-Cola bid for GSK’s nutrition arm

Some of the world's biggest consumer companies have submitted non-binding bids for GlaxoSmithKline's nutrition business as competition intensifies to secure the company's prized Horlicks malted drink brand ahead of an auction later this year. GSK is expected to produce a shortlist of bidders in the next two weeks, with no single company considered a frontrunner, said people familiar with the situation. Emma Walmsley, GSK's chief executive, announced in March that the company was launching a strategic review of Horlicks and other consumer healthcare nutrition products "To support the funding" of its $13bn acquisition of Novartis's stake in the companies' consumer health joint venture. The vast majority of Horlicks sales come through the company's Indian subsidiary, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, in which GSK has a 72.5 per cent holding. Complicating the process of acquiring the nutrition business, it also has sales through a separate public company in Bangladesh, in which GSK also owns a large majority of the shares.

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