Ovaltine to be sold by Swiss owners
LONDON - Ovaltine, the 98-year-old malt extract drink, is up for sale as its owner, Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, plans to focus on its core healthcare business.
The sale of Ovaltine comes as Novartis plans to divest its health and functional food businesses, which also includes sports drink brand Isostar and the slimming products Cereal and Modfast. The division has sales in the region of £350m annually.
Unilever, Nestle, Heinz, General Foods and Danone have all been tipped as potential buyers for Ovaltine. Nestle already owns the Milo milk drink brand and Nesquik, while Unilever has major interests in the tea market with the Lipton brand. According to analysts, the health and functional food business could be sold for over £414m.
Novartis currently retains Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R on the creative account for Ovaltine, while Mediaedge:CIA does the media buying.
Production of Ovaltine is to be moved from Hertfordshire to Switzerland, where it was invented in 1904, later this year.
Novartis plans to keep hold of its Gerber baby food business and has reorganised its consumer health division into six global businesses.
Daniel Vasella, chairman and CEO of Novartis, said: "The realignment of our consumer health activities into business units will increase our customer focus, allow rapid decision making and create entrepreneurial opportunities to stimulate further growth."
The company's consumer health business includes brands such as Savlon, Nicotinell and Tixylix.
If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.
Latest jobs Jobs web feed
- Head of Marketing Operations - Fixed Term Contract 12 months NEST Corporation Competitve, London
- Senior Account Manager / First Time Account Director Content is King £35k - £45k per annum dependent on experience, London (Central), London (Greater)
- Head of Acquisition & Retention NEST Corporation Competitive, London (Central), London (Greater)
- Group Account Director - Experiential Agency The Great & The Good £65000 - £70000 per annum, London
- Account Director The Great & The Good £45000 - £50000 per annum, West End
- Social Media Manager Ball & Hoolahan £48,000, London (Central), London (Greater)