Unilever set to pursue £50bn-plus mega-merger of GSK consumer arm; shares sour



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Unilever set to pursue £50bn-plus mega-merger of GSK consumer arm; shares sour

On Monday, Unilever Plc., the UK-based British multinational consumer goods’ company headquartered in London, had hinted that the consumer goods industry behemoth would pursue a takeover deal for GlaxoSmithKline’s healthcare consumer business branding the move as a “strong strategic fit,” however, investors grew anxious over latest Unilever policy to race towards a £50 billion-plus mega-merger, eventually sending Unilever’s shares’ prices down by as much as 8 per cent in early trading.

In point of fact, latest remarks from Unilever Plc that underscored the British multinational consumers’ goods conglomerate would not decamp itself from pursuing GSK’s consumers health unit even as the pharmaceutical industry giant had confirmed over the weekend that it had rejected three takeover bids from Unilever for its consumer healthcare business which houses top-tier brands such as Sensodyne toothpaste, Panadol painkiller and some vitamin supplements among others.

Apart from that, GSK was quoted saying in a statement over the weekend that the Unilever offer for its consumer healthcare business had been ‘too low’ and substantially undermined the businesses’ future prospects, while GSK also had pledged to a spin-off of its consumer healthcare business scheduled to take place by mid-2022.

Unilever shares plunge as investors grow wary of £50bn-plus chase

On top of that, as a press agency report had quoted sources familiar with the matter as saying that the GSK, headed by Emma Walmsley, had already hired heavyweight US lenders such as Goldman Sachs alongside Citigroup aimed at reviewing Unilever’s move, but might not engage in talks unless Unilever could step up its offer, shares’ prices of GSK had jumped as much as 4.13 per cent to £1,708.72 apiece, the highest since May 2020.

Nonetheless, Unilever shares had rounded off the day’s equity market down by 4.01 per cent to £158.00 apiece after tumbling as much as 8.0 per cent in pre-market trading.