British multinational consumer goods company Unilever has disclosed a deal to pursue GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer healthcare business owned by pharmaceutical groups GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer.
Their announcement comes against a backdrop of a failed GSK Ksh.7.7 trillion (£50 billion) bid to reflect the value of the division.
In a statement Unilever said, “major acquisitions should be accompanied by the accelerated divestment of intrinsically lower growth brands and businesses. This would provide funding.”
The global healthcare facility confirmed on Saturday that it had rejected three approaches from the Dove-soap maker.
GSK, which has its headquarters in London, has already been preparing to separate its consumer goods division from its pharmaceutical business in the middle of this year.
With a successful bid, Unilever – which owns Marmite, Dove and PG Tips – would add Sensodyne toothpaste and Panadol to its list of household brands.
Such a deal would be one of the biggest ever involving London-listed firms.
GSK said in a statement the most recent proposal from Unilever on 20 December contained an offer for £41.7bn in cash and £8.3bn in Unilever shares.
The consumer goods giant, which became a fully British company in 2020 after previously being separated between the United Kingdom (UK) and the Netherlands, also approached Pfizer about the potential deal, since the American pharmaceutical giant owns a 34 percent stake in GSK’s consumer goods business.
GSK has come under pressure from investors for failing to develop a Covid vaccine.