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GSK exits HUL, sells 5.7 pc stake for Rs 25,480 cr

New Delhi, May 7 (PTI) GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) on Thursday said it has offloaded its 5.7 per cent stake in Indian FMCG major Hindustan Unilever for around Rs 25,480 crore.

The company had received the shares as part of the scheme of merger of its subsidiary GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Limited (GSK India) with Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL).

'GSK has, through its subsidiaries GlaxoSmithKline Pte Ltd and Horlicks Limited, today agreed to the sale of 13.37 crore ordinary shares in HUL at a volume-weighted average price of approximately Rs 1,905 per share, raising gross proceeds of approximately Rs 254.8 billion,' GSK said in a statement.

'Following settlement of the sale, GSK will no longer hold any HUL shares,' it added.

As per reports, this is largest block trade ever to have been carried out in the Indian equity market.

On April 1, 2020, GSK had announced the completion of its divestment of its popular healthcare drink brand Horlicks and other consumer healthcare nutrition products in India to Unilever.

When GSK originally announced the divestment of Horlicks in December 2018, the company said it expected gross proceeds from the overall transaction to be approximately 3.1 billion pounds and net proceeds to be 2.4 billion pounds after hedging costs, taxes and other expenses.

With the appreciation of HUL's share price since then, GSK said it now expects gross proceeds from the divestment to be 3.4 billion pounds and net proceeds at 2.9 billion pounds.

This includes the proceeds received on closing of the transaction on April 1, 2020 and the expected proceeds from the sale of its Bangladesh business, which is expected to close later this year.

The board of HUL had on April 1 approved the acquisition of 'the Horlicks Brand for India from GSK for a consideration of Euro 375.6 million (Rs 3,045 crore), exercising the option available in the original agreement made between Unilever and GSK.' Other brands of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd (GSKCH) such as Boost, Maltova, Viva and some other products like Eno, Crocin and Sensodyne had also come to HUL’s portfolio by virtue of the merger.

On December 3, 2018, Anglo-Dutch FMCG giant Unilever announced the acquisition of health food portfolio, including popular brands Horlicks and Boost, from GSKCH India and over 20 other markets for 3.1 billion pounds (about Rs 27,750 crore).

Hindustan Unilever scrip declined 0.86 per cent to close at Rs 1,992.50 on the BSE. PTI KRH RKL ABM ABM