£1.35 billion deal allows GSK to focus on pharma business

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has agreed to sell drinks brands Lucozade and Ribena to Japanese food and beverage maker Suntory. The £1.35 billion cash deal includes global distribution rights to the brands, together with the associated manufacturing plant in Coleford, UK, and its employees. GSK will continue to make and sell Ribena and Lucozade in Nigeria under licence from Suntory.

The move is the latest in a series of divestitures, which began in 2011, in which GSK has sold off consumer product and over-the-counter healthcare brands. The company intends to focus on its pharmaceutical and vaccine operations, as well as a narrower portfolio of over-the-counter healthcare products, whose presence it intends to expand in emerging markets.