GSK opts to sell off Lucozade and Ribena drink brands

LONDON, April 24 Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:08am EDT

LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline has decided to sell its popular soft drink brands Lucozade and Ribena in a disposal that could bring in more than 1 billion pounds ($1.5 billion).

The move was announced on Wednesday alongside weak first-quarter results, which saw sales at Britain's biggest drugmaker drop 3 percent from a year ago.

GSK launched a strategic review of the two brands earlier this year, ruling nothing in or out for their future. Most analysts had focused on the idea of a sale, which is likely to attract interest from private equity and trade buyers.