Godrej Consumer hikes stake in Africa’s Darling Group’s two entities to 55.6%

Mumbai-based FMCG firm Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) has entered into an agreement with the African hair care company Darling Group Holdings to hike its stake in its two entities in South Africa and Mozambique by 4.63 per cent, as per a stock market disclosure. The company did not disclose the deal amount.

The acquisition is in line with its intent of gradually scaling up its ownership of the Darling businesses and with this, GCPL's stake will increase to 55.6 per cent in both the entities.

In June 2011, GCPL had entered into an agreement to acquire 51 per cent stake in Darling Group Holdings which operates in 14 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. This was to be completed in three stages geographically with the first phase executed by September 2011.

The Indian firm held the right to acquire 100 per cent in the operations across countries by 2016. It has now moved to acquire the balance stake in one of the markets namely Nigeria. Last month, the firm announced that it is buying out the remaining 49 per cent stake in the African firm.

Darling Group sells hair extension products under the brands Darling and Amigos.

GCPL has been consistently acquiring firms in the hair care business, a segment where it has products spread across the hair colour, hair dye, mehendi and hair oil. In October last year, GCPL also forayed into the hair salon segment with a deal to acquire 30 per cent stake in Mumbai-based premium hair salon chain B:blunt for an undisclosed amount.

This was the company’s ninth acquisition in hair care since 2005, according to VCCEdge, the financial research platform of VCCircle.

Majority of its acquisitions in the business have been overseas, including a bunch of them that located in Africa and a few in Latin America.

These include deals for Cosmetica Nacional (Chile), Argencos (Argentina), Issue Group (Argentina), Kinky, Darling and Rapidol (Africa) besides UK-based Keyline and Swastik Shikakai owner Naturesse  Consumer Care (India).

Besides hair care products, GCPL is into household and other personal care products. Its brands include Good Knight, Cinthol, Godrej No. 1, Hit, Fairglow, Ezee and Protekt.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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