India: HUL buys Horlicks as company completes merger with GSK Consumer

Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

India’s largest packaged consumer goods company Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) on Wednesday said it has completed its merger with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd (GSKCH), over a year after the announcement of the mega-deal.

The board of HUL also approved the acquisition of the Horlicks brand for India from GSK for 3,045 crore as part of an option available in the original agreement made between HUL and GSK.

In a statement to the stock exchange on Wednesday, HUL said assets and liabilities of GSKCH will become part of HUL effective 1 April 01, after seeking necessary regulatory approvals,

“In accordance with the terms of the scheme approved by the Mumbai NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal) and the Chandigarh NCLT, the appointed date of the scheme will be the same as the effective date i.e. is 1st April, 2020. All the assets and liabilities of transferor company shall become assets and liabilities of the company with effect from the appointed date,” HUL said.

The merger has since awaited necessary regulatory approvals.

Apart from Horlicks, brands such as Boost, Maltova and Viva—part of GSKCH—will come under HUL’s umbrella.

The merger will give HUL a bigger play in the country’s food and refreshments market, and help compete with the likes of Nestle.

“The merger is in line with HUL’s strategy to build a sustainable and profitable foods and refreshment business in India by leveraging the mega-trend of health and wellness,” the company said in a statement to the media today.

“Brands such as Horlicks and Boost are iconic, and we are excited to have them in the Hindustan Unilever fold. The merger gives us a unique opportunity to live our purpose and serve India where Nutrition related challenges form the largest causes of disease—malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency—and aligns well with the government’s ambitious Swasth Bharat and Poshan Abhiyan programs,” said Sanjiv Mehta, chairman and managing director at HUL.

HUL will partner with GSK, through a consignment selling arrangemen, to distribute its over-the-counter (OTC) brands such as Eno, Crocin, Sensodyne, etc. in the country.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
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