GlaxoSmithKline has confirmed it is to sell off its Lucozade and Ribena drinks brands following a strategic review.

GSK said the “tremendous growth potential” of these brands internationally could be better realised by companies with existing presence in the category. “As a result, we have decided to pursue the divestment of these brands, subject to the realisation of appropriate value for GSK shareholders,” said CEO Sir Andrew Witty in a statement on Wednesday.

GSK declined to say how much it was looking to make from the sale, although reports put the figure at £1bn.

GSK said in February it had put Lucozade and Ribena under review after concluding they did not sit well within the company’s broader presence in pharmaceuticals.

Lucozade is the second biggest-selling soft drinks brand in the UK with sales of £387.3m [Nielsen 52 w/e 29 December 2012]. Sales of Ribena in the UK dropped 0.6% last year to £150m. In the first quarter of this year global Ribena sales grew 2%, but Lucozade sales fell 2%, GSK said.

Coca-Cola, Britvic/Barr and Japanese company Suntory have all been linked to the purchase.

Meanwhile, GSK reported a 3% drop in first-quarter sales to £6.47bn.

Analysis: GSK’s Lucozade and Ribena - who will buy?