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Japanese set to buy GSK’s iconic Lucozade and Ribena brands


GSK has entered into exclusive talks with the ownder of Orangina and Schweppes, which means a full-blown auction of the drinks brands – which had been expected later this month – will not take place.

Suntory, is understood to be days away from completing the takeover. GSK revealed plans to sell Lucozade, first created in 1927, and Ribena, which dates back to 1938, in April.

GlaxoSmithKline’s chief executive, Sir Andrew Witty, said then he was focused on the “two places where there are cast-iron synergies between pharma and the consumer business, which are over-the-counter medicines, such as Panadol, and emerging markets”.

Lucozade and Ribena are iconic brands, but don’t naturally fit into those two places.

Suntory, best-known in Japan for its whisky, sees an opportunity to increase the two brands’ annual sales of more than £500m. The price tag of £1.5bn would represent a multiple of 15 times the forecast profits for Lucozade and Ribena in 2013.

Source: The Independent; Financial Times

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