Unilever still eyes GSK-Pfizer unit after £50 bn bid rebuffed

FILE PHOTO: A picture taken on June 5, 2015 shows the logo of Unilever at the headquarters in Rotterdam. Unilever is a multinational company in the field of food, personal care and cleaning products. In 1930, Lever Brother, a British soap maker and Margarine, a Dutch company, merged to optimize their requirements and create the multinational Unilever. AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYS (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP)

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Consumer goods giant Unilever on Monday revealed ongoing interest in a consumer health care unit jointly owned with pharmaceutical groups GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer after a bid of £50 billion ($68 billion) was refused.

“GSK Consumer Healthcare would be a strong strategic fit,” Unilever said in a statement as it unveiled a strategy update in the wake of the weekend’s takeover news.

Unilever said it was “committed to accelerating the company’s growth and repositioning the portfolio into higher growth categories.

GSK said on Saturday that it had received three unsolicited offers from Unilever for GSK Consumer Healthcare, but they were all rejected as the company said the unit was undervalued.

“As a result of the reporting of Unilever’s interest in GSK Consumer Healthcare, we are today bringing forward a planned update, setting out the strategic direction that the company is pursuing,” Unilever said.

Unilever said its “future strategic direction lies in materially expanding its presence in health, beauty and hygiene”.

© Agence France-Presse