Today we heard the news that GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) has sold the household brands Lucozade and Ribena to Japanese company Suntory for £1.35bn. Suntory already own Orangina and Schweppes so are well placed to expand the former GSK brands – although Ribena and Lucozade are well known in the UK they don’t have the recognition internationally that Suntory’s other brands do.
A sale has potentially been on the cards since Feburary to allow GSK to focus on their pharmaceutical operation – though they achieved nearly double the original price tag of £766 million. This is especially interesting news for us in the Umami office, as the main manufacturing plant for the drinks is based in Coleford, just half an hour away from the Umami office. It could be big news for the local community – either through great growth and job creation, or eventual shutting of the factory (although Suntory have assured that no jobs will be lost)
This is interesting news that will definitely be worth keeping an eye on – will these decades-old British brands be looking at overseas expansion? Will you be able to buy Lucozade on holiday, alongside European favourite Orangina? Will the sale see mass rebranding across the range, as usually happens with a takeover?