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GSK consumer MD to head residual business post HUL deal completion

The unlisted entity has brands like Sensodyne toothpaste, Crocin analgesic and Iodex pain balm. The majority of GSK Consumer’s India portfolio, comprising the health drinks, comes under the listed entity and this will now move to Hindustan Unilever.

, ET Bureau|
Nov 12, 2019, 06.52 AM IST
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GSK Consumer Healthcare managing director Navneet Saluja
NEW DELHI: GSK Consumer Healthcare managing director Navneet Saluja will head the residual unlisted business of the company after Unilever completes the acquisition of its portfolio of Horlicks and Boost health drinks.

The unlisted entity has brands like Sensodyne toothpaste, Crocin analgesic and Iodex pain balm. The majority of GSK Consumer’s India portfolio, comprising the health drinks, comes under the listed entity and this will now move to Hindustan Unilever, the local unit of Anglo-Dutch FMCG giant Unilever. The health food drinks business contributes close to 75% to GSK Consumer’s sales.

A GSK Consumer spokesperson confirmed Saluja’s appointment in the revised role.

“We confirm that Navneet Saluja is the designate general manager, India sub-continent, for the retained GSK Consumer Healthcare business,” the spokesperson said in an emailed response to ET’s questions.

He said India remained an “important” market for GSK and that the company would continue to invest in growth opportunities for its over-the-counter and oral health brands. The companies are still waiting for certain legal approvals to close the deal announced in December 2018. The transaction involved HUL acquiring the businesses through an all-equity merger, valuing GSK Consumer at Rs 31,700 crore.

While the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has sanctioned the merger, GSK Consumer hasn’t yet received the approval of NCLT in Chandigarh.

An HUL spokesperson said, “Until then, the two companies will continue to operate as separate businesses. Once the merger is completed, GSK’s heath foods drinks business will become part of HUL’s foods and refreshment division.”

This division is currently led by Sudhir Sitapati. “Employee integration will commence once the merger is completed,” the HUL spokesperson added. According to GSK Consumer’s fiscal 18-19 annual report, the number of employees at the listed entity was 3,844.

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