A security guard hoists a GlaxoSmithKline company flag outside the GSK factory in Shanghai, China, in 2013. GSK has rejected three unsolicited offers from Unilever, including one worth $68 billion, to acquire its consumer goods division. File Photo by EPA-EFE
Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Healthcare product maker GlaxoSmithKline has rejected three unsolicited offers from Unilever, including one worth $68 billion, to acquire its consumer goods division, the company confirmed Saturday.
If successful, the takeover between the two London-based companies would add GSK brands such as Sensodyne, Aquafresh and ChapStick to the list of brands owned by Unilever -- which include Axe, Dove and Vaseline.
"GSK rejected all three proposals made on the basis that they fundamentally undervalued the Consumer Healthcare business and its future prospects," the company said in a statement.
The GSK announcement was made in response to reporting from The Sunday Times of London, which did not reveal how it had obtained the information. Unilever has also since released a statement confirming the attempted acquisition in response to the reporting from the Times.
"GSK Consumer Healthcare is a leader in the attractive consumer health space and would be a strong strategic fit as Unilever continues to re-shape its portfolio," Unilever said in its statement. "There can be no certainty that any agreement will be reached."
GSK's consumer healthcare business is a joint venture with U.S. company Pfizer, which has not released a statement about the attempted acquisition.
GSK revealed that the most recent $68 billion offer from Unilever came Dec. 20 and comprised about $57 billion in cash and about $11.4 billion in Unilever shares.
"The board of GSK unanimously concluded that the proposals were not in the best interests of GSK shareholders," the company said, noting that its business is well-positioned to grow in the consumer healthcare sector.
GSK said that the company "remains focused" on spinning off its Consumer Healthcare business into a new company by mid-2022, after hiring former Tesco CEO Dave Lewis to lead the new venture.