Coca-Cola is considering making an offer to acquire malted drink brand Horlicks from UK pharmaceuticals company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), according to the Sunday Telegraph.
It is understood both companies have held talks about a deal after GSK announced in March that it would carry out a review of the brand. Other potential bidders include Nestlé and Kraft Heinz.
Any sale would likely include GSK’s 72.5% stake in India-listed GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, which sells Horlicks in India, and is thought to be valued at £2.5 billion.
Founded in Chicago by British-born brothers James and William Horlick, the 145-year-old Horlicks brand now makes most of its sales in India, where the product is given as a breakfast drink to children.
GSK chief executive Emma Walmsley said: “This is an absolutely extraordinary brand, with more than a century of history, particularly in India [where it is] much loved.”
A move by Coca-Cola would see the company continue its efforts of offering healthier beverage options in India other than soft drinks. The firm will invest $1.7 billion in the country over the next five years as it creates a range of region-specific juice variants made from fruits native to India.
Meanwhile, Coca-Cola India announced last year that it aims to make its Thums Up cola a $1 billion brand in the next two years as it launched new variant Thums Up Charged. The company and its bottlers will invest to boost customer loyalty, launch new packs, expand distribution and increase manufacturing capacity in a bid to reach the landmark by 2020.
GSK, which is Britain’s biggest drugs company, was established in 2000 through the merger between Glaxo Wellcome and Smithlkine Beechman.
Carlsberg has announced the departure of its chief financial officer (CFO), Heine Dalsgaard, after six years in the position. In a statement, Carlsberg said that Dalsgaard was resigning from the post to take up the role of CFO at a private equity-backed company in a different industry.
Kellogg will split into three independent companies to focus on the snack business, Reuters reported Tuesday. The snacking portfolio will comprise the main business, while the North America cereal unit and the plant-based business will be spun off. The company is also considering a sale of the plant-based business.
The snacks giant says the acquisition will help build on its commitment to “lead the future of snacking” in key geographies worldwide. Once the transaction is completed, Mondelēz will continue to operate the Clif Bar business from its headquarters in Emeryville, California. The snack giant will also continue to manufacture Clif Bars’ products, which include Clif Bar, Luna and Clif Kid, at its facilities in Idaho and Indiana.