Mumbi-based Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) makes another foray into the global market as it has entered into an agreement to acquire 51 per cent stake in African hair care firm Darling Group Holdings, which operates in 14 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. Godrej did not disclose the deal value, citing a confidentiality agreement, but said that the acquisition would be EPS accretive from the first year.
“The acquisition will be completed in three stages geographically. The first phase will be completed in 2-3 months…and we have the right to acquire 100 per cent in the next 3-5 years after that and we are keen to do that,” Adi Godrej, chairman of the Godrej Group, said in a media statement.
With this acquisition GCPL will leverage its product portfolio and capabilities in personal wash, toiletries, household insecticides and air care across the African continent.
While the Darling Group offers hair extension products under the brands Darling and Amigos, the key businesses of GCPL are spread across the personal care segment and includes a variety of products such as soaps, hair colours, toiletries and liquid detergents, with most of them operating at margins of over 20 per cent.
Darling Group’s current management team will continue to manage the business while GCPL will put in place a cross-functional team consisting of the current Darling Group management and GCPL’s team members. The cross-functional teams will work in the areas of marketing, sales, manufacturing, finance and human resources.
“The Darling Group enables us to take our presence in Africa to the next level. Our aspiration is to touch the lives of at least 100 million consumers across Africa in the next five years through superior quality innovative products at affordable prices. Over 500 million Indians use at least one Godrej product on a daily basis. And we would like to build a similar kind of trust level and relationship with the African consumers and delight them,” said Godrej.
“Over the past four years, we have made three acquisitions in the region. These businesses have performed well and we have learnt a lot on what it takes to be successful in Africa. We believe that the strong share positions that the Darling Group brands enjoy will further accelerate our trajectory of sustainable and profitable growth in the region. We also believe that the timing is right for us to scale up our presence in the region,” he added.
In 2010, GCPL acquired Tura, a leading beauty brand in West Africa, and the Megasari Group, a leading household care company in Indonesia. In the same year, the company had struck similar deals and acquired Mumbai-based Naturesse Consumer Care Products Ltd from Muaken Projects for an undisclosed sum. It had also bought Genteel and Swastik Shikakai brands for $11 million. Incidentally, Naturesse Consumer owns Swastik Shikakai brand in the hair & body soap category.
The company also acquired Argentina-based hair styling spray company Argencos SA for $45 million and Issue Group Co. for $48.94 million. The Issue Group is engaged in developing, manufacturing and marketing cosmetic products, and the acquisition involved buying 100 per cent stake in units like Laboratoria Ceuna, Consell SA, Issue Uruguay and Issue Brazil.
Earlier this year, Dabur India had closed a similar deal with US-based Namaste Laboratories LLC which has a South African branch on hair treatment. Dabur acquired the company for $100 million. Founded in 1996 by Gary Gardner, Chicago-based Namaste Labs markets products under the brand Organic Root Stimulator and specially targets the ethnic haircare products market for Africans and African Americans. Dabur struck the deal just over 1.1x its annual revenues.