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Unilever CEO Alan Jope. Picture: BLOOMBERG
Unilever CEO Alan Jope. Picture: BLOOMBERG

Unilever said on Wednesday it would not bid higher than the £50bn offer it tabled for GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) consumer products division late in 2021.

GSK rejected that offer and two earlier offers last year. 

The news comes after a sharp decline in Unilever’s share price as investors questioned the rationale for the deal. 

The outcome is a serious blow to CEO Alan Jope and Unilever’s board, which earlier this week announced a revamp of its business. The maker of Dove soap wants to refocus around its health, beauty and hygiene operations, suggesting divestitures may involve its food operations, which include the Ben & Jerry’s and Magnum ice-cream brands.

Unilever also said at the time that the GSK unit would be a “strong strategic fit” but that it would explore other takeover opportunities in the consumer health space. The company also said it would maintain “financial discipline” and would not overpay. 

Bloomberg News.  More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

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