Anglo-Dutch business giant, Unilever PLC has emerged as a leading bidder in the tough competition for Indian Horlicks nutrition business owned by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), media reports said on Wednesday (28).
Unilever and GSK, which has 72.5 per cent share in Indian business GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd, are in exclusive discussions, according to the Indian media reports on Tuesday (27).
GSK’s brands, including well known malt-based drinks Horlicks and Boost, is likely to fetch less than £3.13 billion ($4bn), according to the sources quoted by Reuters in its news report.
Earlier, separate sources had informed that the two parties agree on a deal whose value is likely to be more than £3.13bn.
If two parties manage to reach a deal then, the acquisition is likely to expand Unilever’s business and to grab a major market share in India where climbing population and per capita income are very likely to yield attractive return for long-term investments.
According to some analysts, the £3.13bn valuation for the dietary supplement or typically consumed with milk are witnessing a downward movement in the growth. The experts opine that the urban people in India turning their focus on healthy natural food items with less sugar and fat.
Meanwhile, if the deal between Unilever and GSK is confirmed, then Unilever’s business will beat its fellow European consumer giant Nestle SA which, according to media reports earlier, was close to purchasing Horlicks and other major GSK consumer brands in India.
As a health drink, Horlicks has a huge market share in the country. If any multinational company is able to purchase the GSK brands, then it is expected to give a new touch to its dietary supplements in the Indian market.