Sunday 24 September 2017

Glaxo finalises sale of Lucozade and Ribena to Suntory

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

GlaxoSmithKline has finalised the sale of household names Lucozade and Ribena for a figure believed to be around $2.1bn (€1.6bn).

Buyer Suntory Beverage and Food is acquiring the products in an effort to expand its global footprint and reduce reliance on home market Japan.

A formal announcement is expected later today.

The move will see Glaxo – one of the world’s biggest drug makers - deliver on an earlier promise to begin divesting itself of its older brands.

In April the company announced that it was forming a new unit to house more than 50 older products with combined annual sales of about £3bn. The revamp is one of a series of efforts to separate older products from its bigger business of developing new medicines.

Much-loved energy drink Lucozade and Ribena, the liquid concentrate marketed toward children, have combined annual sales of about €710m. Both are veteran products - Lucozade was launched in 1927 and Ribena introduced 10 years later - yet they remain popular in Ireland and the UK where they command a prominent position in retail outlets.

Suntory has the budget for the acquisition after holding Japan’s largest initial public offering this year. It is thought to have about €3.8bn available to it for acquisitions. The company also has plans to acquire companies in Southeast Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

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