GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced that it is to sell drinks brands Lucozade and Ribena to Japanese company Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd for £1.35bn.
GSK said the net proceeds of the transaction after tax, fees and costs are estimated to be approximately £1.3bn, with the transaction expected to complete by the end of the year.
It said Japanese soft drink company Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd will acquire global rights to the brands and GSK’s Coleford Forest of Dean manufacturing site.
GSK added the vast majority of employees at the site and those working on Lucozade and Ribena in commercial and R&D functions will transfer to SBF.
GSK chief strategy officer David Redfern said: “Lucozade and Ribena are iconic brands that have made a huge contribution to GSK over the years, but now is the right time to sell them as we increase the focus of our Consumer Healthcare business and execute the delivery of our late stage pipeline of pharmaceuticals and vaccines.
“We believe the future of Lucozade and Ribena is in good hands given SBF’s established beverages business, ambitious growth plans and also their recognition of the strong performance and capability of the GSK employees working on these products.”
Founded in 1899, Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd has a range of businesses encompassing alcoholic beverages, wellness, food, restaurants and flowers, with approximately 200 companies and 29,000 employees across Japan, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas. It is the number two supplier of soft drinks in Japan and is number four globally.