Emma Walmsley, the new Chief Executive Officer of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is said to be looking to divest its MaxiNutrition sports nutrition business, according to a news story from Reuters that was first reported on by Sky News last week.
Under its previous CEO Andrew Witty, GSK bought the MaxiNutrition business, which makes protein powder, bars, drinks and gels, for £162 million (US$205 million) in 2010. Its main brand is Maximuscle, which spans the muscle-building through to endurance sport categories. Originally, the company’s endurance sport range was under the MaxiFuel sub-brand. Although, this has since adopted the MaxiNutrition umbrella brand name, with MaxiNutrition Fuelmax and MaxiNutrition Recovermax products in the endurance sport porfolio.
MaxiNutrition was previously part of a wider consumer products business within GSK, when the company owned the popular Lucozade sports/soft drink product. The predominantly ready to drink Lucozade brand was sold off by GSK back in 2013 for £1.35 billion to Japan’s Suntory. This Japanese-owned operation is now called Lucozade Ribena Suntory, with soft drinks brands such as Lucozade, Ribena and Orangina in its portfolio.
Emma Walmsley, who took over at GSK on 1 April 2017, has reportedly decided that the UK-focused MaxiNutrition business no longer fits in the wider group. As reported by Reuters, GSK’s consumer healthcare business, which was previously led by Walmsley and includes an extensive range of over-the-counter medicines, is heavily geared towards global brands.
Walmsley is due to outline her vision for GSK alongside half-year results next month. She has already made clear that a key priority will be improving research productivity in the company’s core prescription drug business.