GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Group-nominated directors have resigned from the board of the listed company and Unilever-nominated directors have joined to form a new board of directors.
- GSK BD's old board dissolved and a new board formed with Unilever nominees
- Professional accountant Masud Khan will continue as new board's chairman
- Unilever Consumer will carry on with the business of Horlicks, Boost and Glaxose D
- The listed company losing the minority business of Sensodyne and Eno
- GSK Group subsidiary Burroughs Wellcome BD will handle Sensodyne and Eno
- Amirul Islam becomes country manager of Burroughs Wellcome and Company BD
- The listed company shareholders will not have any relationship with Burroughs Wellcome
- Unilever welcomes 147 GSK employees
After the transfer of an 82 percent share to the Unilever Group, GlaxoSmithKline Bangladesh Limited is going to become Unilever Consumer Care Ltd, according to a decision at the transitional board meetings on Tuesday.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) group-nominated directors have resigned from the board of the listed company and Unilever-nominated directors have joined to form a new board of directors.
Unilever Group, the new controlling shareholder, has selected Bangladeshi professional Accountant Masud Khan to continue as chairman of the listed company, while other new directors are engaged with Unilever Bangladesh Ltd, including the new managing director.
GSK taking minor products away
With the sale of GSK Bangladesh's share to the Unilever group, GSK also accomplished their divestment of the nutrition and health food drinks brands, including Horlicks, Boost and Glaxose D in Bangladesh – in line with the global deal of the two multinational groups.
GSK Group will continue its remaining products in Bangladesh through its subsidiary Burroughs Wellcome & Company (Bangladesh) Limited, according to a GSK press release.
The non-listed subsidiary of GSK Group will be marketing premium toothpaste Sensodyne and over the counter digestive health brand Eno.
Bangladesh continues to be an important market for GSK and the company will continue to invest in these brands and launch new brands in this country, GSK said in the statement on Tuesday.
GSK Group is no more with GlaxoSmithKline Bangladesh and the business of Sensodyne and Eno will not impact the listed company.
Burroughs Wellcome also announced the appointment of Amirul Islam as its country manager. He will be responsible for growing the business in Bangladesh.
Through the deal and transformation, the listed company with its main product health food drinks has gone under control of Unilever Group and they will be responsible for increasing values for the listed company's shareholders.
Until the transfer of majority shares, the listed company's over 90 percent sales was a contribution of the nutrition brands.
According to the Dhaka Stock Exchange, Unilever Overseas Holdings BV has bought 98.75 lakh shares of GSK BD from Setfirst Ltd, a GSK concern in Europe, through a block market transaction worth Tk2,020.75 crore on Sunday.
Unilever to carry on with the core business
Meanwhile, Unilever Bangladesh in a press release on Tuesday said, GSK BD will continue as an entity with a new name and all the products – Horlicks, Boost and Glaxose-D – in the market will continue to be the entity's products.
On the potentials of the health food drinks and nutrition products portfolio, Unilever said, "The nutrition and health drinks category remain under-penetrated in Bangladesh and Unilever Bangladesh is well positioned to further develop the market given the extent of its reach and capabilities. There is a huge growth potential in bringing in the best of GSK's brands and equity with the strengths of the Unilever Bangladesh Limited's Go-to-market capabilities."
Kedar Lele, chief executive officer and managing director of Unilever Bangladesh, welcomed 147 GSK BD employees into the larger Unilever family.
Unilever is one of the world's leading consumer goods companies, making and selling around 400 brands in more than 190 countries.
"And Unilever Bangladesh Limited (UBL) is the largest fast-moving consumer goods company with a heritage of over 55 years, with more than nine out of 10 households using our products."
But the Unilever joint venture with the Bangladesh government is yet to be listed with the stock market and their reluctance has long been criticised by market experts and economists.