SmithKline Beecham's acquisition of Sensodyne toothpaste manufacturer Block Drug this week means the company may well hang on to its consumer brands after its merger with Glaxo Wellcome. Analysts had speculated that the Macleans and Aquafresh dental brands and drinks such as Ribena and Lucozade would be sold off because they wouldn't fit' Glaxo's major concern ­ prescription drugs. An SKB spokesman said the £800m takeover of Block Drug was "a vote of confidence in the consumer business". He dismissed as "idiotic" suggestions the acquisition was intended to dress up the consumer division before selling it on. The Glaxo Wellcome merger is due to be finalised by the year-end. {{NEWS }}