Nestlé, Coca-Cola and Unilever in final bidding war for GSK's Horlicks: report

GSK is negotiating with potential buyers for its Indian consumer products business. (GlaxoSmithKline)

As several buyers pursue GlaxoSmithKline’s Indian consumer products business, the drugmaker has shortlisted Nestlé, Unilever and Coca-Cola for a second round of bidding, the Economic Times reports, citing people familiar with the discussions. 

The business, which includes the drinks brand Horlicks, could fetch up to $4 billion, analysts have said. ET reported that the shortlisted companies are set to continue negotiations with GSK next week in London.

Other companies that reportedly shopped the deal include Kellogg, Mondelez, Danone, Reckitt Benckiser, PepsiCo and private equity firm KKR. The Telegraph last month reported Coca-Cola was preparing a multibillion-pound offer.

RELATED: GlaxoSmithKline bulks up in OTC after all, handing Novartis $13B for its JV stake

GSK in March said it was reviewing options for its 72.5% share of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd., a public company listed on India’s exchanges. The sale would generate cash after GSK agreed to pay $13 billion for Novartis’ share in the two pharma giants' consumer healthcare joint venture.

Despite its ongoing consumer sale process in India, GSK has stressed that it's not backing away from the Indian market altogether. The drugmaker plans to back OTC and oral health brands in the country as well as invest in prescription drugs and vaccines, executives have said. 

Meanwhile, in the U.S., GSK is cutting 650 jobs to reduce its cost base and reinvest the savings into new launches and R&D.

Free Daily Newsletter

Like this story? Subscribe to FiercePharma!

Biopharma is a fast-growing world where big ideas come along daily. Our subscribers rely on FiercePharma as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data on drugs and the companies that make them. Sign up today to get pharma news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.