Business World

Tuesday 20 February 2018

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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