Unilever eyeing potential £50bn deal on GSK’s consumer goods arm

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The consumer goods giant said it had been approached about buying the pharmaceutical group’s consumer goods arm after a newspaper reported that a £50 billion ($68.4 billion) bid had been rejected.

Unilever, which has been criticized by some investors for the group’s underperforming share price, in a statement on Saturday confirmed the outlook for a possible takeover of the business.

GSK Consumer Healthcare is a leader in the lucrative consumer health space and will be a strong strategic fit as Unilever continues to reshape its portfolio.”

“There can be no certainty that a settlement will be reached.”

GSK declined to comment on the outlook.

Earlier, Britain’s Sunday Times said Unilever’s bid for the business, done at the end of last year, was worth around £50 billion, and was dismissed as too low by GSK and Pfizer, which are in the division. owns a minority stake.

The vision of Unilever, which has brands like Dove Soap and Marmite, for glaxoThe portfolio of household brands, including Panadol pain reliever and Sensodyne toothpaste, was deemed untested, it added.

While Unilever’s bid did not include any acquisition premium or recognition of synergies, it was unclear whether the group would make a higher offer, the paper said.

Unilever has come under pressure from investors after underperforming rivals such as Procter & Gamble.

Chief executive Alan Jopp recently got into a dispute with British fund manager Terry Smith, who criticized the group for promoting sustainability credentials at the expense of performance.

Brokerage Jefferies had last year valued the entire consumer unit at £45 billion.

Deutsche Bank analysts said in June 2021 that any takeover bid for GSK’s more than £45 billion in consumer assets would be “eye-watering”.

Unilever had earlier suggested that it was in the market for bigger deals. Jopp has said that he was only interested in small, bolt-on acquisitions in fast-growing sectors like luxury beauty and health and wellness.


Usama Younus

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