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.







You have

[DAYS_LEFT] Days left

of your free trial

Subscribe now

Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes the weekly magazine and quarterly Campaign IQ, plus unrestricted online access.

SUBSCRIBE

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now
Share

1 Meet the new breed of ad agency chiefs

A new wave of first-time CEOs are opting to do things differently in an evolving landscape. They discuss the business model of the future with Jeremy Lee.

Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising
Shares0
Share

1 Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising

"This girl can" was based on a powerful insight: that the fear of judgement by others is the primary barrier holding women back from participating in sport.

Just published

More