For a while now, India’s cherished malted drink brands—Horlicks and Complan—have been caught in a race. Not just for market share, but to find new owners.
That race ended last month, when Ahmedabad-based pharma group Zydus scooped up Complan from consumer goods company Kraft Heinz. A mirror story is expected to play out when pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline India sheds its Horlicks brand, which has been on the auction block since March. Horlicks has a host of non-pharma suitors—Pepsi, Coke, Unilever and Nestle. While its parent, GSK Plc, has signalled its intent to double down on the consumer health business by buying out Novartis’ share in their consumer health joint venture for $13 billion, it’s cropping its consumer health portfolio in India.