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Unilever says it wants to buy GSK’s consumer goods arm

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LONDON — Consumer goods giant Unilever said it approached Glaxosmithkline to buy the pharmaceuticals group’s consumer goods arm after a newspaper reported a 50 billion pound ($68.4 billion) bid that he had made had been rejected.

“GSK Consumer Healthcare is a leader in the attractive consumer healthcare space and would be a strong strategic fit as Unilever continues to reshape its portfolio,” Unilever said in a statement on Saturday.

“There can be no certainty that an agreement will be reached.”

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GSK did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier Britain’s Sunday Times said Unilever’s bid for the business was worth around £50bn and had been rejected as too low by GSK and Pfizer, which has a minority stake in the division.

The approach of Unilever, which owns brands such as Dove and Marmite soap, to Glaxo’s portfolio of household brands, including Panadol painkillers and Sensodyne toothpaste, would have been unsolicited, he added.

Unilever’s offer did not include any acquisition premium or recognition of synergies, the newspaper said. It was unclear whether Unilever would make a higher offer, he added.

($1 = 0.7314 pounds)

(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru; Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Jan Harvey)