• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Suntory in early negotiation to take over GSK’s Ribena, Lucozade brands


GSK Consumer Nigeria plc has received a non-binding offer from Suntory Beverage & Food Limited as the latter plans to take over the former’s drinks business.

Suntory is offering to take over the bottling and distribution of GSK’s flagship drinks- Ribena and Lucozade- as well as part of its manufacturing plant in Agbara.

Agbara is an industrial zone in Ogun State, south-west of Nigeria.

BusinessDay gathered that the board of GSK is considering the offer and expects to make a decision after the appointment of its professional advisers and negotiation with SBF.

While the negotiations are ongoing, the company stresses that any potential sale would be subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals and, until that completes, the drinks business belongs to GSK Nigeria.

“The board of GSK has a duty to consider the non-binding offer and ensure that stakeholders are informed and engaged,” said Uche Uwechia, legal director and company secretary, GSK Consumer Nigeria Plc, in a statement.

“We operate in a very challenging environment and it is the company’s responsibility to consider all options to increase shareholder value,” Uwechia said.

The board of GSK has granted Suntory access to certain due diligence information in GSK, but there is no assurance that Suntory will make a binding offer following the completion of their due diligence review or whether the terms of offer of any such offer would be acceptable.

GSK maintains that the decision is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals. If the transaction is agreed and the shareholders and regulators approve the sale, GSK Nigeria will still maintain it’s Wellness, Oral Healthcare, Nutrition and Pharmaceutical/Vaccines businesses and the company will remain listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

As at the time of filing this report, financial terms of Suntory’s non-binding offer were confidential.

BusinessDay gathered from sources close to GSK that the board will consider shareholder value before accepting the offer. It is expected that the details of the deal will be completed within this quarter.

There will be no change to the terms of employees working on the drinks business and there will also be no change to the commercial arrangements of customers.