Lucozade and Ribena prepped for a sell off

Mon, 22 Apr 2013 | DIVISION SALE

Popular soft drinks brands Lucozade and Ribena face being put up for sale over the next few weeks, with a price tag of up to £1 billion.

The brands' owner, drugs company GlaxoSmithKline, has been mulling over the possible sale for a few months and announced a review of the business in early February. At the time Glaxo’s chief executive, Sir Andrew Witty, commented, “No decisions have been taken or options ruled out – we could increase investments in certain pars of the world, find a partner or divest the products.”

It is thought an announcement of a sale could be voiced at Glaxo’s yearly meeting next month. The completed review was to be due by mid-year, the firm had said previously.

While the firm is known to have sought potential advisers, a bank has not yet been brought in to hold an auction of the drinks business.

Buy out businesses are expected to be very interested in the sale, with firms such as Blackstone, BC Partners, Lion Capital and PAI expected to ask for information on the business.

Suntory Holdings, the Japanese firm that purchased Orangina in 2009, is understood to be serious about putting together a bid. It is said to have held talks with banks Morgan Stanley and Nomura to support the bid.

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