Unilever Makes Bid for GSK Consumer Health

Financial Daily Dose 1.18.2022

January 18, 2022

Unilever kicked off the hostile takeover season on Monday by confirming that it remained interested buying out the joint venture of GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer—GSK Consumer Health—despite GSK’s rejection of three previous bids. GSK believes the target company, which makes Advil, ChapStick, and Tums (among other recognizable products), is worth more than the $68 billion Unilever offered for it recently - NYTimes and WSJ and MarketWatch

Credit Suisse chair Antonio Horta-Osorio has resigned, effective immediately, following “an investigation involving breaches of Covid protocol,” including breaking quarantine rules for several London-to-Zurich flights. Horta-Osorio had been in the position for less than a year and will be succeeded by former UBS exec Axel Lehmann - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

Also out are dozens of employees at video-game giant Activision Blizzard over the past 6 months as the company works to “address allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct” following “sustained pressure from shareholders, staff and business partners for more accountability over its handling of misconduct issues” - WSJ

Markets are in the January doldrums, and Treasury yields have hit a two-year high, largely driven by the belief that the Fed will boost interest rates as early as March in an effort to wrangle inflation - Bloomberg and WSJ and MarketWatch

China’s birthrate fell for the fifth straight year according to information released this week, a demographic problem stemming from years of a “One Child” policy that’s become an economic one, as a decline of a working population “could result in labor shortages, which could hamper economic growth, and reduce the tax revenue needed to support an aging society” - NYTimes

As troubling? China’s back-to-Earth economic growth, which slowed to just 4% during Q4 as compared to a year earlier. And while the Chinese economy grew just over 8% for 2021 on the whole, much of that growth occurred during the first half of the year. “Making matters worse, the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is now starting to spread in China, leading to more restrictions around the country and raising fears of renewed disruption of supply chains” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

Though airlines and telecom carriers seemed to have reached a deal over delaying the latter’s 5G rollout, the airline industry is again pushing for more time, warning that deploying 5G could ground “thousands of flights” due to interference from that technology and cause “the nation’s commerce [to] grind to a halt” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

Uhhh . . . about that pre-Covid “live-work space” renovation. The beauty of hindsight, friends - NYTimes

Stay safe, and get boosted,



The Robins Kaplan Financial Daily Dose features top stories and latest news headlines in financial markets, banking, securities and technology topics.