Glaxo to sell Ribena and Lucozade

GlaxoSmithKline has confirmed that it will sell the drinks brands Lucozade and Ribena in a deal that could raise more than £1bn.

Sir Andrew Witty, the chief executive, said: "These iconic brands, particularly outside the 'core' Western markets, could be better leveraged by companies with existing category presence and infrastructure in these regions."

The drinks brands – which have sales of about £600m, mainly in the UK – are expected to attract interest from private equity and trade buyers. During the first three months of this year, Ribena sales grew 2 per cent but Lucozade was down 2 per cent.

GSK's sales in the first quarter fell 3 per cent to £6.47bn as key drugs fell out of patent.