GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) UK arm has agreed to sell its nutritional drinks brands Lucozade and Ribena to Suntory Beverage & Food (SBF), the Japanese consumer goods company for £1.35 billion. The transaction is likely to be completed by year-end, subject to regulatory approvals.
This move is part of GSK’s Consumer Healthcare business strategy to focus around a core portfolio of healthcare brands, with particular emphasis on emerging markets. The company had initiated a strategic review of Lucozade and Ribena in February this year and subsequently announced its decision to divest the brands, subject to the realisation of appropriate shareholder value. Annual sales of the two brands were approximately £0.5 billion in 2012, according to a company statement.
David Redfern, Chief Strategy Officer, GSK, said, “Lucozade and Ribena are iconic brands that have made a huge contribution to GSK over the years, but now is the time to sell them as we increase the focus of our consumer healthcare business and execute the delivery of our late stage pipeline of pharmaceuticals and vaccines. We believe the future of Lucozade and Ribena is in good hands given SBF’s established beverages business, ambitious growth plans and their recognition of strong performance and capability of GSK employees working on these products.