Consumer products firm Dabur India said on Tuesday that it had entered into an agreement to buy Ajanta Pharma’s over-the-counter energiser brand 30-Plus for an undisclosed sum. On Monday, the two firms had stated that they were in talks for a possible deal.
Earlier, a news report in the Economic Times had quoted unnamed executives to state that the deal, estimated to be valued in the sub-Rs 50 crore range (less than $11 million), would be announced this week.
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.
Dabur India scrip was down 0.35 per cent quoting at Rs 100.65 per share in mid-day trade while Ajanta Pharma’s share was trading at Rs 255, down 1.77 per cent in a weak Mumbai market on Tuesday.
The acquisition will strengthen Dabur’s product portfolio in India after the company had 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.
The deal will boost Dabur’s 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.
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.
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