Coke, Nestle to participate in second round of bidding for Horlicks

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The Indian business arm of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) that deals with the nutrition business – GSK Consumer Healthcare has shortlisted Coke, Nestle, and Unilever for the second round of bidding. As reported by Economic Times, the company plans to sell 72.5 per cent of its stake.

Horlicks
Though Nestle already sells a malt drink named Milo, Horlicks is a major player in the Indian marketplace.

One of the key products of GSK in India is Horlicks. The company’s management committee meetings are to be held next week in London.

The initial auction process for the consumer healthcare company was highly competitive and saw participation from several major brands such as PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Danone, Reckitt Benckiser, and ITC. A few of the companies such as ITC, an Indian company, withdrew themselves from the bidding process and a few others were not shortlisted by GSK. However, the final number and the exact list of participants of the second round of bidding has not been revealed.

GSK has planned a strategic review of Horlicks and some of its other healthcare products in order to analyse the options available for the brands such as Horlicks and Boost. The review is expected to be done by the end of the year 2018.

The stake sale was initiated in order to help GSK fund the Novartis’ stake buyout which is equal to $13 billion. The bids for the stake in the UK-based company are expected to be around $2.75 billion to $3.2 billion.

The malt beverage industry is looked upon as a slow-growing industry but experts believe that India is a growing marketplace for such products.

GlaxoSmithKline has three major businesses that research, develop, and manufacture pharmaceutical medicines, vaccines, and consumer healthcare products.

Source: Economic Times

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