Glaxosmithkline has agreed to sell soft drinks brands Lucozade and Ribena for £1.35bn to Orangina Schweppes owner Suntory.
Lucozade is the UK’s top-selling energy and sports drink, while blackcurrant drink Ribena is the fourth-best selling fruit juice and concentrate.
Lucozade was created by Thomas Beecham, from Newcastle in 1927. Glaxo chief strategy officer David Redfern said Lucozade and Ribena have made a huge contribution over the years, and their future is in ‘’good hands’’.
He said: ‘’Now is the right time to sell them as we increase the focus of our consumer healthcare business.’’
Suntory said it will achieve synergies or cost cuts with its existing European and Asian operations across procurement, production, logistics and other back office functions, but did not give more details.
Trevor Hall, regional officer at trade union Unite, said it will be meeting management to demand guarantees on jobs and conditions.
He added there have been no indications of job cuts so far. He said: “Unite will be keeping a careful eye on developments.’’