Food group Unilever takes over the food business of the company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in India for 3,9 billion dollar. It concerns the Health Food Drinks division. This subsidiary is active in India, Bangladesh and some twenty other countries in the region.
The main brand in the GSK division is the American brand Horlicks, a malt drink that is rapidly gaining popularity in India. The popular chocolate drink Boost also falls under the GSK subsidiary. With the agreement an end has come to a months-long battle for the food division. Apart from Unilever, competitors Nestlé and Coca-Cola were also in the race.
The takeover consists of three parts: the combination of the listed parts of both companies in India, the acquisition of a 82 percent stake in GSK Bangladesh and the acquisition of commercial activities and assets outside India.
The deal is a major strategic step for Unilever: India is currently the most important emerging market for the group. For top man Paul Polman the purchase will be his last achievement for Unilever. He announced his departure last week. In October, he had to withdraw his plans to relocate the head office to Rotterdam.
He recently spoke about this issue for the first time with this newspaper. During that interview he said:
We have said very clearly to the government: if you ever want Unilever to come to the Netherlands with its head office, that can never happen with dividend tax. When did I say that? Always. And other people from Unilever too.
Peretz M. is an accomplished economist and financial journalist with a deep understanding of the global economy and financial markets. He is a regular contributor to EconomicInform, where he provides expert analysis and commentary on current economic trends and events. With a strong educational background in economics, Peretz has a talent for breaking down complex economic concepts for a general audience and is able to provide insightful perspectives on a wide range of economic issues.