Millennium Post

Coca-Cola plans to buy Horlicks, claims report

New Delhi: Coca-Cola is planning to buy GlaxoSmithKline's consumer nutrition business, which includes Horlicks. According to a report in the Economic Times, Coca-Cola has asked Citigroup to help it out in the bidding process of GlaxoSmithKline's consumer nutrition business, which is set to begin next week.

Besides, Coca-cola, Nestle, Danone, Unilever are reportedly other strong contenders for the same, claimed the report. Indian Firms ITC and Dabur had also reportedly expressed their interest in the bidding.

But Horlicks might not be a suitable fit for Coca-Cola, since the company is looking to rapidly reduce sugar across its portfolio, a top official told the publication.

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd has two products in Indian market, Horlicks and Boost. According to a Reuters estimate, total value of GlaxoSmithKline's Horlicks health nutrition business is roughly $4 billion. Last month, Coca-Cola on Monday launched its first ever alcoholic drink in Japan. With a fizzy, lemon-flavoured drink, the US-based company broke its 132-year-old tradition to enter the alcoholic beverages market. The drink - offered with 3%, 5% and 7% alcohol is a variant of popular Japanese "chuhai", popular among young women. All the three variants of the drink will be available in the southern Kyushu region of Japan from Monday. A 350-millilitre can will cost 150 yen (US$1.40 or Rs 93).

The company has not yet revealed its plans for the rest of Japan or other countries.

Chuhai is a popular drink in Japan and Coca-Cola plans to cash in its popularity. Chuhai — a word that combines "highball" and "shochu," is an alcohol made from rice, barley or sweet potatoes. Surveys show Japanese women prefer these to beer. Many companies in Japan have recently been experimenting and relaunching chuhai to get more woman customers.

Coca-Cola has a huge presence in Japan in nonalcoholic drinks segment and with chuhai drink, it plans to drive its sale further.

"This is a pilot project in the region which has a sizable market," Masaki Iida, spokesman for Coca-Cola's Japanese unit, was quoted as saying by AFP.

It has named the drink Lemon-Do which will be available with 3%, 5% and 7%


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