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Godrej Consumer sells diaper business to PE-backed Nobel Hygiene

Godrej Consumer Products Ltd has sold its diaper brand Snuggy to Nobel Hygiene Pvt. Ltd for an undisclosed amount, The Economic Times reported, citing Nobel founder Kamal Johri.

The transaction led to GCPL’s exit from the baby-care segment, the report said.

Nobel Hygiene didn’t respond to email queries till the time of publishing this article. GCPL declined to comment.

Godrej had entered the baby-care segment 15 years ago with the acquisition of Snuggy from Shogun Diapers Ltd in 2003. Snuggy competes with the likes of Procter & Gamble's Pampers and Unicharm's Mamy Poko Pants.

Mumbai-based Nobel Hygiene was founded in 2000. It makes adult diapers, maternity pads, adult pull-ups, under pads, nappy pads and baby diapers. It markets its baby diapers under the brand name Teddyy while the adult incontinence products are sold under the ‘Friends’ brand.

In February 2015, alternative asset management firm CLSA Capital Partners had invested $10 million in Nobel Hygiene.

The company reported net sales of Rs 206.4 crore for the fiscal year 2016-17, up from Rs 160.4 crore the year before. Net profit declined to Rs 1.4 crore from Rs 6.1 crore, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of News Corp VCCircle.

Deals in baby-care segment

Pune-based Brainbees Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which operates online baby products retailer FirstCry, is one of the well-funded players in the category. It was reportedly in talks to raise over $100 million from multiple investors, including Singapore’s state investment firm Temasek Holdings.

In 2016, Firstcry had acquired Mahindra & Mahindra’s babycare business BabyOye in a cash-and-stock deal worth Rs 362.1 crore ($54.3 million).

In April, Honasa Consumer Pvt. Ltd, which operates babycare products startup mamaearth.in, raised an undisclosed amount in equity investment from Bollywood actress and entrepreneur Shilpa Shetty Kundra.

Mumbai-based Hopscotch.in is another private equity-backed company, but peers such as Hushbabies have had to shut shop.

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