Asian Paints to buy Ess Ess Bathroom’s front-end sales business

India’s largest paints company Asian Paints Ltd has entered into an agreement with Punjab-based Ess Ess Bathroom Products Pvt Ltd (Ess Ess) to acquire its entire front-end sales business, as per a stock market disclosure. The financial details of the deal are not disclosed.

Ess Ess is an established player in the bath and wash business segment in India. Founded in 1993, it manufactures bathroom fittings and accessories. It has more than 1,500 dealers in India and eight branch offices. The company’s factory is in Himachal Pradesh. It exports to the UK, the Far East and the Middle East. The front end sales business includes brands, network and sales infrastructure.

This move by Asian Paints is in line with its strategy to be a one-stop solution provider in the home décor space. In August last year, Asian Paints had invested Rs 120 crore as part of a deal to buy a 51 per cent stake in Sleek International Pvt Ltd, one of the top modular kitchen solutions firms in India.

Last month, Asian Paints (International) Ltd (APIL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Asian Paints, agreed to buy 51 per cent equity stake in Ethiopia-based Kadisco Chemical Industry Plc for an undisclosed amount.

In February this year, Asian Paints had hiked its stake in Singapore-headquartered Berger International Ltd (BIL), an investment holding company which manufactures, distributes and sells paint and related products in Bahrain, The United Arab Emirates, Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados, to around 96.7 per cent.

Asian Paints is the largest paints company in the country ahead of Berger Paints (not associated with Berger International), Kansai Nerolac and Akzo Nobel (formerly ICI). It has operations in 24 countries with combined paint manufacturing capacity of around 330 million litres per annum.

Shares of Asian Paints closed at Rs 556.95 per share, up 3.29 per cent, on BSE, in a weak Mumbai market on Wednesday.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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