GSK rejects Unilever’s $68 billion bid for consumer healthcare unit


LONDON – Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline said on Saturday it had rejected an unsolicited 50 billion pound ($68.4 billion) bid from Unilever for its consumer healthcare goods unit, a joint venture it controls in partnership with Pfizer.

The London-based company said in a statement published on its website that a series of three offers made by Unilever last year – the last on December 20 – were all rejected “on the grounds that they fundamentally undervalued” the unit and its future prospects.

GlaxoSmithKline and Unilever have confirmed that a takeover bid has been made following an article in Britain’s Sunday Times. In a brief statement on its website, unilever said “GSK Consumer Healthcare is a leader in the attractive consumer healthcare space and would be a strong strategic fit as Unilever continues to reshape its portfolio. There can be no certainty that an agreement will be reached. »

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GSK plans to divest the unit – known for products such as painkiller Advil, toothpaste Sensodyne and Tums – in mid-2022. After integrating the consumer healthcare businesses of Novartis (2015) and Pfizer (2019), GSK said it reached annual sales of 9.6 billion pounds ($13.1 billion) in 2021.

Consumer goods conglomerate Unilever sells a wide assortment of consumer products ranging from Hellmann’s mayonnaise to Lipton tea and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Its best-known personal care brands include Dove soap and Rexona deodorant.

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