Consumer goods giant Unilever said it had approached Glaxosmithkline about buying the pharmaceutical group's consumer goods arm after a newspaper reported that a 50 billion pound ($68.4 billion) offer it made had been rebuffed.
"GSK Consumer Healthcare is a leader in the attractive consumer health space and would be a strong strategic fit as Unilever continues to re-shape its portfolio," Unilever said in a statement on Saturday.
"There can be no certainty that any agreement will be reached."
GSK did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Earlier, Britain's Sunday Times said the Unilever bid for the business was worth roughly 50 billion pounds, and had been rejected as too low by GSK and Pfizer, which owns a minority stake in the division.
The approach by Unilever, which owns brands such as Dove soap and Marmite, for Glaxo's portfolio of household brands including Panadol painkillers and Sensodyne toothpaste was understood to have been unsolicited, it added.
Unilever's bid did not include any takeover premium or recognition of synergies, the newspaper said. It was not clear whether Unilever would make a higher offer, it added.
Earlier in late 2018, GSK entered into a deal with Unilever to sell its health food drinks businesses worldwide.
Following that, like all other markets, Unilever acquired GSK Bangladesh at over Tk2,000 crore in the early 2020.
Since, health-food drinks, mainly Horlicks, was making around 93% of the GSK's business in Bangladesh Unilever acquired the majority stake of the listed company and later changed its name into Unilever Consumer Care.
On the other hand, Burrough Wellcome Bangladesh, a subsidiary of mother GSK is looking after the remaining GSK business of Sensodyne toothpaste and over the counter antacid brand Eno.
Earlier in 2018, GSK shut its 60 years old pharmaceuticals plant in Chattogram amid the continuation of a stressed bottom-line following too much competition from local players.