Unilever has set its eyes on the consumer division of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). It could be the largest acquisition ever for the multinational, but a deal is by no means certain.
Last Saturday, GSK announced it had rejected an unsolicited bid of 50 billion pounds (nearly 60 billion euros) from Unilever for its consumer division. The division, a joint venture with Pfizer, produces Advil painkillers and various toothpaste brands such as Sensodyne, Paradontax and Aquafresh, to name just a few.
GSK had already received three bids from Unilever last year – the latest on 20 December. They were all rejected “on the basis that they fundamentally undervalued the division and its opportunities for the future”, the pharma company said in a statement.
Unilever, meanwhile, has confirmed its interest and said GSK’s healthcare division would fit strategically very well into the group’s future goals, including an increased focus on health, beauty and personal hygiene products. According to the company, there are more opportunities for growth and higher profit margins in that division, Business Insider writes.
GSK has previously indicated it wants to divest its consumer division. All avenues remain open, including a separate stock exchange listing or a takeover. Besides Unilever, several investment companies have already made their interest known.
According to Bloomberg, Unilever is already working on a higher bid, but this information has not yet been officially confirmed anywhere. If a deal were to be made, it would be the largest acquisition in the history of Unilever.