November 27, 2018 / 10:29 PM / 13 days ago

Exclusive: GSK in exclusive discussions with Unilever about Indian Horlicks unit - FT

A pedestrian walks past the logo of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) at its headquarters in Mumbai, India, October 14, 2015. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

(Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK.L) is in exclusive talks to sell its Indian Horlicks nutrition business to Unilever Plc (ULVR.L), putting an end to an auction that is expected to fetch more than $4 billion, Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

GlaxoSmithKline beat a rival bid from Swiss rival Nestle (NESN.S) which was also bidding for the unit and looking to expand its portfolio in the powdered hot beverages category, the report on.ft.com/2FNlf6j added.

In September, sources had told Reuters that Nestle, Unilever and Coca-Cola (KO.N) were among bidders for GSK’s Indian Horlicks nutrition business and that Nestle was particularly well-suited to buy the business.

GSK and Unilever did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment outside regular business hours.

Reporting by Mekhla Raina in Bengaluru; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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