GSK to sell Horlicks brand in the UK

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

GSK plans to sell the Horlicks brand in the UK; India and South East Asia are unaffected
GSK plans to sell the Horlicks brand in the UK; India and South East Asia are unaffected

Related tags Malt

GSK has announced it intends to sell its Horlicks brand in the UK, and is proposing to close the associated manufacturing site in Slough. It also intends to sell its Maxi Nutrition brand in the UK. 

The combined annual UK sales of Horlicks and Maxi Nutrition are around £30m ($39m). The Horlicks brand in India and South East Asia – which account for the ‘vast majority’ of global revenues – will not be affected.

GSK has also announced that it will outsource some pharmaceutical manufacturing activity from its Worthing site in the UK, and together the changes at Slough and Worthing will result in a reduction of around 320 permanent jobs over the next four years.

It says that the proposals are subject to employee consultation, which will begin immediately.

From Slough to the South Pole​ 

Horlicks, a malted drink, was invented in 1873, with Instant Horlicks created in 1982. The Slough manufacturing site was opened in 1908. 

GSK is a global pharmaceutical and healthcare company, with Horlicks and MaxiNutrition coming under its consumer healthcare business.



Invented in 1873 by British-born brothers William and James Horlick, in Chicago

Acquires first patent for malted milk in 1883

Included on expeditions to the North and South Poles in the early 20th​ century, valued as a light, non-perishable, high calorie food supplement

Antarctica’s Horlick Mountains were named by mountaineer Richard Byrd after the company sponsored his expedition to the tune of $30,000. 

Popular during WWI and WWII both at home and on the front lines, where it was used as a energy-booster for US and British troops.

Today’s Horlicks ingredients include wheat, malt barley, sugar, milk and 14 nutrients such as calcium and B vitamins.  

In a statement this morning, GSK says it is also exploring options to divest ‘some other smaller non-core nutrition brands’.   

The company has also announced several other efforts to ‘improve the efficiency and competitiveness of its manufacturing network’ in the UK.

This includes investments for respiratory and HIV medicines manufacturing (putting £140m into its Ware, Hertfordshire, Barnard Castle, Co Durham and Montrose, Scotland sites).

It will also outsource some pharmaceutical manufacturing activity at its Worthing site, and will no longer proceed with a previously planned investment to build a biopharmaceutical facility in Ulverston.

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