GlaxoSmithKline isspending £162 million to buy Europe’s number one sports nutrition company, theUK’s Maxinutrition.

The lattermanufactures protein-enhanced functional nutrition products and is best knownfor its Maximuscle protein drinks. Maxinutrition, which is presently owned byDarwin Private Equity, and has delivered sales growth of around 21% over thelast three years.  Sales for the year ended April 2010 reached £36million. 

John Clarke, presidentof GSK’s consumer healthcare division, said the deal is a demonstration of thefirm’s desire to grow its non-pharmaceuticals businesses “through appropriatebolt-on acquisitions which meet our strict financial criteria”. He went on tosay the company will “invest behind Maxinutrition’s science-proven products” toextend its growth “within its UK and European footprint and expand to theglobal marketplace, where GSK has existing infrastructure and capabilities”.

Reckitt Benckiserbuys India’s Paras Pharma

Interestingly, GSKhad been mentioned as a potential purchaser of Paras Pharmaceuticals but theIndian healthcare company has been snapped up by Reckitt Benckiser.

The UK group isshelling out 32.6 billion rupees, about £460 million to get hold of Paras whichspecialises in analgesics, cold and flu remedies, antifungals and prickly heattreatments. The latter had sales of over 4 billion rupees last year, some £56million.

The deal willsignificantly increase RB’s presence in the emerging markets. Janet Knowles,head of the life sciences team at international law firm Eversheds, noted that theIndian market is attractive to drug companies as it is currently seeing growthlevels of over 10%.

“The majors aremaking no secret of their interest in the country”, she added, and may be able “totake advantage of some of the family feuds which seem to have a tendency todevelop within local Indian drug companies”.