Sources say Suntory in advanced talks for purchase of GlaxoSmithKline's drink brands

By IVCPOST Staff Reporter

Sep 06, 2013 05:28 AM EDT

Sources told Reuters that Japan-based Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd was already closing in on the acquisition of two drink brands from British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline. The talks were said to be in the advanced stages for the purchase of Lucozade and Ribena brands. The sources said the price tag for the acquisition was over GBP 1 billion or USD 1.6 billion. One of the sources said an official announcement for the deal could come soon.

In April, GSK said it would be selling its drinks business. Reuters reported that Lucozade and Ribena were popular in Britain but had not reached emerging markets where GSK was now marketing its consumer health business.

Suntory was seen as a potential suitor as it had wanted to expand its reach by acquiring businesses. The move to grow globally was to counter the drinks market in Japan which had been sluggish for some time, Reuters reported. Suntory had acquired Orangina Schweppes in 2009 in a deal worth more than USD 3 billion.

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