Danone not interested in acquiring Horlicks, India assets

Oct 23, 2018


GSK said in March it was reviewing its options over its portfolio of consumer healthcare nutrition products. Central to the assets under review is GSK’s 72.5% stake in Indian arm GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare.

Danone, the owner of brands including Aptamil and Protinex was named in Indian business media reports as among the suitors interested in the running to buy GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)’s Indian nutrition business.

However, Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber indicated the valuation being placed on the GSK assets – which include the Horlicks brand – were not right for the French company. They are not going to bid for Horlicks as the company has exactly the same product as Horlicks in India. The other reason as not to go for Horlicks is because of the evaluations that do not meet the metrics that Danone needs to grow its business in India.

The majority of the annual sales made from Horlicks and the other nutrition products – which stood at around GBP550m (US$716.5m) 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.

Three weeks ago, it was reported Unilever, Nestle and Coca-Cola had all made it through to a second stage of bidding for the assets. It is thought the successful buyer will have to stump up between US$2.75bn and US$3.2bn.


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