Nestle, Unilever front-runners in race to buy GSK's Horlicks business: Reports
The $4 billion valuation is considered too steep by some analysts as the Indian market for ‘health drinks’ is seeing a sharp slowdown in growth
European consumer giants, Unilever Plc and Nestlé SA are at the forefront of the race for taking over GlaxoSmithKline Plc's Indian Horlicks nutrition business, say reports.
GSK is in exclusive talks with Unilever to strengthen its position in India, its most important emerging market, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
Times of India reported on Wednesday, that Nestlé is close to buying Horlicks and other GSK consumer healthcare assets but will not merge the business with its own local unit, Nestlé India Ltd.
A spokeswoman for GSK India told Reuters on Wednesday that the company is conducting a strategic review of its nutrition brands in India and expects to conclude the process by 2018.
Coca Cola was shortlisted to join the final round of the auction, which began in September, but its interest cooled, FT reported.
The $4 billion valuation is considered too steep by some analysts as the Indian market for ‘health drinks’ is seeing a sharp slowdown in growth.
A spokesman for Nestle India told Reuters on Wednesday that the company would not comment on speculation. A spokeswoman for Unilever said the company would get back on the Reuters query seeking comment about the media articles.
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