Unilever eyeing GSK’s consumer goods arm in potential £50bn deal By Reuters
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: General view outside GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) headquarters in Brentford, London, Britain May 4, 2020. REUTERS/Matthew Childs
By Mrinmay Dey and Siddharth Cavale
(Reuters) – Consumer goods giant Unilever (NYSE 🙂 said it approached Glaxosmithkline (LON:) on the purchase of the consumer goods arm of the pharmaceuticals group, after a newspaper reported that a 50 billion pound ($ 68.4 billion) offer he had made had been postponed.
Unilever, which has been criticized by some investors for the group’s share price underperformance, confirmed the approach of a possible acquisition of the company in a statement on Saturday.
“GSK Consumer Healthcare is a leader in the attractive consumer healthcare space and would be a strong strategic fit as Unilever continues to reshape its portfolio,” he said.
“There can be no certainty that an agreement will be reached. »
GSK declined to comment on the approach.
Earlier Britain’s Sunday Times said Unilever’s bid for the company made late last year was worth around £50bn and had been rejected as too low by GSK and Pfizer (NYSE:), which has a minority stake in the division.
The approach of Unilever, which owns brands such as Dove and Marmite soap, to Glaxo’s portfolio of household brands, including Panadol painkillers and Sensodyne toothpaste, would have been unsolicited, he added.
Unilever’s offer did not include any acquisition bonus or recognition of synergies, the newspaper said, adding that it was unclear whether the group would make a higher offer.
Unilever came under pressure from investors after underperforming rivals such as Procter & Gamble (NYSE:).
Chief executive Alan Jope recently argued with UK fund manager Terry Smith, who criticized the group for promoting sustainability credentials at the expense of performance.
Last year brokerage firm Jefferies valued the entire consumer unit at £45 billion.
German Bank (DE:) Analysts said in June 2021 that any takeover bid on GSK’s consumer assets worth more than £45bn would be “tempting”.
Unilever has previously dismissed suggestions that it was in the big deal market. Jope said he was only interested in small, targeted acquisitions in fast-growing areas such as luxury beauty, health and wellness.
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