Soft drink giant Coca-Cola is reportedly planning to bid for GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Indian beverage Horlicks for approximately USD 3.9 billion. As per trusted sources, the first round of bids will be launched soon as Horlicks prepares for the deal.
GSK’s strategic review of Horlicks and other products were unveiled in March, to invest its stake in the consumer healthcare JV.
GSK’s most recent financial results depicted a 7 percent decline in nutrition sales at an annual equivalent rate but rose 1 percent at a coupon equivalent rate to around GBP 154 million.
The company’s nutrition business in India continues to flourish, benefiting from products like Horlicks Protein+ which was introduced earlier this year. Internationally, the company managed to generate proceeds worth GBP 827 million, with a 2 percent decline in growth.
Emma Walmsley, CEO of GSK was reportedly quoted saying that with new product launches, enhanced R&D approach, and the successful purchase of consumer business, GSK has estimated the group’s cost base, competitive long-term growth requirements and its performance in the group’s three businesses.
In addition, GSK will be executing a new restructuring program, which aims to improve the competitiveness and efficiency of the group’s cost base. This will be achieved with savings majorly delivered through supply chain optimization and reduced administrative costs, states a financial release.
According to sources familiar with the knowledge of the matter, Coca-Cola isn’t the only company interested in Horlicks. Other companies like Kellogg, Nestle, Unilever, and The Kraft Heinz are also interested in bidding for the Indian malt beverage.
As per a recent press release, Coca-Cola’s interest in Horlicks follows the company’s recent acquisition of Britain’s Costa Coffee for a valuation of USD 5.1 billion. The move was intended to give the soft drink company a strong presence in the coffee platform throughout Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific.