Unilever has completed the acquisition of the Horlicks brand from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in India, as well as acquiring a number of nutrition brands operating in predominantly Asian markets.
In a statement, Unilever said that its Indian subsidiary, Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) has completed its merger with GSK India, meaning that HUL will now distribute a number of GSK brands, including Sensodyne, Crocin and Otrivin in the country.
GSK will be responsible for demand generation, portfolio strategy, R&D and marketing for these brands, the company said.
"This historic merger reinforces our commitment to India’s long-term growth story and allows HUL access to a fast-growing nutrition category, further bolstering our Foods & Refreshment Division," said Sanjiv Mehta, HUL’s chairman and managing director.
The merger was first announced in December 2018, in line with Unilever's strategy to evolve its Foods and Refreshment portfolio into higher growth segments.
All necessary approvals have now been completed, it added.
Through the merger, GSK now holds a 5.7% stake in HUL, with the company saying that it intends to 'monetise its holding in HUL at such time it considers appropriate, taking into account market conditions'.
“The close of this transaction signals the beginning of an exciting new chapter for GSK in India, enabling us to focus and build on our portfolio of brilliant, science-based OTC and Oral Health brands and to make these products available to more consumers across the country," commented Brian McNamara, chief executive at GSK Consumer Healthcare.
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