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September 18, 2018

Unilever and Nestle said to be eyeing bids for Horlicks

Global food giants Unilever and Nestle have entered the race to buy GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)'s Horlicks business in India, according to media reports in the country.

Global food giants Unilever and Nestle have entered the race to buy GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)’s Horlicks business in India, according to media reports in the country.

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The Times of India newspaper is reporting Anglo-Dutch consumer goods heavyweight Unilever and Switzerland-based Nestle are among suitors that are placing bids to acquire UK pharmaceutical company GSK’s Indian nutritional foods unit – which includes the India-focused Horlicks malt-based drink brand – in a deal estimated at US$4bn.

Last week another newspaper, the UK’s The Sunday Telegraph reported soft drinks behemoth The Coca-Cola Co. is also interested in acquiring the Horlicks brand.

GSK announced a strategic review of its nutritional businesses in March this year as part of its plans to buy Novartis out of their consumer healthcare venture for $13bn, and central to the assets under review is GSK’s 72.5% stake in Indian arm GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare.

Since then there has been a flurry of speculation about a potential buyer. Non-binding offers were due in at the start of this week.

PepsiCo, Kraft Heinz, Mondlez International, Kellogg and Reckitt Benckiser have also been linked with making a bid for the assets, which includes Horlicks and some smaller products, including chocolate flavoured malt drink Boost.

It reports that private-equity buyout investor KKR is also filing a bid.

The newspaper reports Nestle’s bid is being advised by Credit Suisse and Unilever’s by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Nestle already owns the malt drink Milo, but it is not a big seller in India.

The majority of the annual sales made from Horlicks and the other nutrition products – which stood at around GBP550m in 2017 -are made in India.

GSK markets products including biscuits under Horlicks in India, as well as the malt-based drinks for which the brand is best-known.

The Horlicks range on sale in India also includes beverage products to aid growth in children, as well as drinks to support expecting and pregnant women.

GSK’s range of consumer healthcare nutrition products on sale in India also include hot cereal marketed under the Horlicks brand, Boost biscuits and Foodles noodles, a line developed with Japan’s Nissin Foods Holdings.

Last year, UK business Aimia Foods became the owner of the Horlicks brand in the UK, Ireland and continental Europe.

GSK has said it expects the outcome of its strategic review to be concluded by the end of this year.

just-food contacted Nestle and Unilever for a response. Both companies said they do not wish to comment on market speculation. 

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img

Unilever- A Deep-dive into Product Launches and Advertising Strategy

Unilever product advertising is mainly through mainstream TV channels. Out of the products advertised so far at least 50% (over 850) of ads have been run on TV, while print media comes second with 496 ads. Unilever also utilizes social media platforms for advertisement. Unilever products are categorized by innovation ratings and tags in our product launch database. The North American region consists of almost 74 products with innovations related to the formulation of the product. Europe and other regions also have more products categorized under formulation-related innovation, followed by the packaging and positioning of the products. Most Unilever products are tagged with “High Vitamins”, “Recyclable”, and “Natural” tags to understand what the product differentiator is from other products available in the market. The majority of products belong to the personal care industry with a total of 5,788 products to date. This report, through the Unilever Example, illustrates how GlobalData Explorer enables you to:  
  • Track product launches by FMCG companies to get an understanding of the product-level strategies including geographic concentrations, innovation types, product claim, category focus and more
  • Monitoring the advertising strategies of various brands and gain insights into channel focus, regional focus, and more
  • Perform company-level analysis to understand business model, size, and geographic focus
Don’t miss out on key market insights that can help optimize your next investment – read the report now.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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