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India’s malt-based hot drinks segment is estimated to be worth 78.7 billion rupees ($1.1 billion), according to Euromonitor International. Rob Dawson/Bloomberg

Unilever adds Horlicks in $3.8 billion deal for Glaxo India

Glaxo rose 1.4 per cent in early trading in London. Unilever rose 0.6 per cent in Amsterdam. Unilever agreed to acquire GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s Indian consumer business, including malted milk drink Horlicks, for 3.3 billion euros ($3.8 billion) to boost its footprint in one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies. It’s one of the Anglo-Dutch company’s largest acquisitions under departing Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman, who in January is handing over to personal-care head Alan Jope. It’s also the first major deal since a plan to combine the company’s headquarters in the Netherlands collapsed under investor pressure in October. The transaction strengthens Unilever’s presence in the emerging markets that account for about two-thirds of its revenue. The Dove soap maker will use cash and shares of its Indian subsidiary to take control of a new venture that includes Glaxo’s listed entity in the country, where Unilever has been selling products since the...

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