In separate disclosures to the stock exchange on Monday, consumer products maker Dabur India and Ajanta Pharma said that they were in talks for a potential deal where Dabur might buy the latter’s multi-vitamin supplement brand 30-Plus. But the two firms added that the deal has not been frozen yet.
Earlier, a news report in Economic Times has quoted unnamed executives to state that the deal, estimated to be valued in the sub-Rs 50 crore range (less than $11 million), is expected to be announced this week.
A potential deal will strengthen Dabur’s product portfolio in India after the company struck two overseas acquisitions within the last one year. Last September, it acquired Turkey-based personal care firm Hobi Kozmetik for $69 million and followed it up by snapping US-based personal care firm Namaste Group for $100 million in January this year.
Dabur India scrip was down 0.20 per cent to close at Rs 101 per share while Ajanta Pharma’s shares last traded at Rs 259.6, up 3.3 per cent in a weak Mumbai market on Monday.
Dabur, which was keen to acquire the private equity-backed consumer healthcare firm Paras Pharmaceuticals (eventually acquired by Reckitt Benckiser) and, more recently, Henkel’s Indian operations (in which Jyothy Labs is now a frontrunner), had snapped Balsara Hygiene & Home Products in 2005, besides acquiring Fem Care Pharma in 2008.
Launched more than two decades ago, 30-Plus was marketed by Ajanta Pharma as an energising capsule for men over 30 years of age. But as the small-sized pharma company decided to focus more on prescription medicine business, it did not hold on to the consumer brand recall and gave way to new competitors in a fragmented market. Daiichi Sankyo-controlled Ranbaxy’s product Revital, endorsed by cricketer Yuvraj Singh, is the top brand in this segment at present.
If Dabur manages to seal the deal, it will boost its over-the-counter healthcare products business that already includes ayurvedic brands such as Chyawanprash and Pudin Hara. Dabur, which also markets Real juices and Vatika shampoo, had earlier said that over-the-counter healthcare products would be an important growth driver in the medium term.