Coca-Cola is said to be preparing to make a £3bn bid to Glaxo-SmithKline (GSK) for malted milk drink Horlicks.
Kraft Heinz and Nestle are also reported to be tabling rival bids.
Horlicks was invented by two brothers in a small granary in the Forest of Dean in 1873. It was fed to infants and to British and US soldiers during the Second World War.
Today, it’s biggest market is in India.
“This is an absolutely extraordinary brand, with more than a century of history, particularly in India [where it is] much loved,” says Emma Walmsley, chief executive of GSK.