GSK Nigeria dispels rumours of pending lay-offs after sale of beverage business

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc (GSK Nigeria) has put to rest fears of planned lay-offs post sale of its beverage business to Suntory.

Speaking to journalists in Lagos, GSK’s company Secretary, Mr. Uchenna Uwechia, said that the company’s Board of Directors has accepted Suntory Beverage & Food Limited offer to buy its beverage bottling and distribution business.

He noted that the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has been informed of its proposed plan to sell its beverage business as part of a post listing requirement of the exchange.

“The Board of GSK has accepted and is recommending for approval by shareholders, a binding offer from Suntory Beverage & Food Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Suntory Beverage and Food Limited for the divestment of its drinks bottling and distribution business.”

Uwechia, said that the principal terms of the offer will be set out in a circular to the shareholders. According to a statement from the company, “If the shareholders and regulators were to approve the sale, the retained business of GSK Nigeria would include its wellness, Oral Healthcare, Nutrition and Pharmaceutical/Vaccines business, and the company would remain listed in the NSE.”

Speaking on the issue of lay-offs, Uwechia said, “Part of the terms of the offer was that Suntory Beverages will retain the staff in the drinks business. So, there is no need to fear, we will disclose further details of the offer once we get all the regulatory approvals. Even Suntory Beverages has stated that more people will be employed once it takes over the drinks business as the capacity of its plants in Nigeria is higher than what we currently have.”

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