GlaxoSmithKline plans sale of $3.7-billion stake in Hindustan Unilever

The drug maker received the stake, valued at $3.7 billion as of Wednesday, as part of the payment for the sale of a portfolio of assets that was completed this month.
GlaxoSmithKline is preparing to start a sale of its $3.7 billion stake in Unilever’s listed India unit, according to people familiar with the matter.

 
Glaxo plans to offload part or all of its 5.7% holding in Hindustan Unilever (HUL) through a series of block trades, which could start as soon as the next few days, according to the people.

 
The firm is in discussions with advisors on when to launch the transactions, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

The drug maker received the stake, valued at $3.7 billion as of Wednesday, as part of the payment for the sale of a portfolio of assets that was completed this month.

In December 2018, Unilever said it would acquire the health food drinks brands of Glaxo in India and Bangladesh and other markets for €3.3 billion ($3.6 billion) in cash and shares in HUL. As part of the transaction, Glaxo received a 5.7% stake in the Indian unit. Shares of HUL extended losses to 2.5% Wednesday after the Bloomberg News report.

The Nifty index rose 1.8% above Tuesday’s close.

 
No final decision has been taken on the timing of the proposed trades, and Glaxo could decide to postpone the sale depending on market conditions and investor demand, the people said.

 
Representatives for Glaxo and HUL declined to comment.

 


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