The proceeds of a possible sale can be used to finance Glaxo's $ 13 billion buy-out of Novartis AG's stake in their consumer health joint venture. Photo: Reuters
Mumbai: The British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline Plc asked for bids in mid-September for its $ 4.3 billion Indian consumer health department, which owns the popular malted milk brand Horlicks, people with expert knowledge. Glaxo sent an information memorandum with preliminary details about the company to potential envoys, according to the people who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The sale has attracted interest from potential bidders, including Nestle SA, PepsiCo Inc. and Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc, they said.
The British drugmaker announced in March that it aims to complete a strategic review of Horlicks and other food products by the end of this year. The company reviews its 72.5% stake in GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd in India as part of that process. The proceeds of a possible sale can be used to finance Glaxo's $ 13 billion buy-out of Novartis AG's stake in their consumer health joint venture.
Representatives for Glaxo and Nestle refused to comment. Spokespeople from Reckitt and Pepsi had no immediate comment.
Glaxo's asset review includes its 82% stake in the Dhaka-listed GlaxoSmithKline Bangladesh Ltd, as well as marketing rights for some brands of consumer drugs in other emerging economies, including Malaysia, said the people. There is no assurance that the deliberations will lead to a transaction and the parent company can still decide to keep the companies, they said.
Shares of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare increased this quarter by almost 9% in India, giving the company a market value of 29,900 crore ($ 4.3 billion).
The Indian division brands are Boost, a malt-based drink that is endorsed by cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, as well as Viva, a drink with wheat and barley, and chocolate caramel drink Maltova, the website shows.