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Godrej Consumer takes full control of Kenyan home and personal care firm
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Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL), the consumer arm of the larger Godrej Group, has taken full control of a Kenyan company that manufactures and distributes home and personal care products, four years after initially acquiring a 75% stake.

Mumbai-based GCPL said in a stock-exchange filing it has acquired the remaining 25% stake in Canon Chemicals Ltd for a KES 1.5 billion (approximately $14.05 million or Rs 106.26 crore at current exchange rates).

This development comes after Godrej Consumer in February 2016 announced that it would acquire a 75% stake in Canon Chemicals for an undisclosed sum. At the time, the company said that the deal reflected its commitment to scaling up its presence in the African continent.

The acquisition is being made through Godrej East Africa Holdings Ltd, GCPL’s wholly-owned subsidiary.

Canon, incorporated in 2009, is involved in the manufacturing and distribution of products such as petroleum jelly lotions, air fresheners, detergent, and candles. Following the completion of the 25% stake acquisition, the company will become a fully owned subsidiary of Godrej Consumer.

Shares of Godrej Consumer ended the day 3.03% up at Rs 553.85 apiece. The company itself is one of India’s larger consumer products firms, with brands under its umbrella including Good Knight, HIT, BBlunt, and Cinthol.

According to VCCEdge, the data research arm of Mosaic Digital, Godrej Consumer reported consolidated net sales of Rs 9,910.8 crore and Rs 10,314.34 crore for the 2019 and 2020 financial years. It also reported positive EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) figures of Rs 2,255.33 crore and Rs 2,226.37 crore for the same period.

The firm has also made several acquisitions and increased its stake in existing holdings in recent years to increase its control and geographical presence.

In September last year for example, it increased its stake from 90% to 95% in two Mauritius-based units - Godrej West Africa Holdings Ltd (GWAHL) and Darling Trading Company Ltd (DTCL). The Mumbai-based firm paid $13.80 million (around Rs 97.89 crore) for GWAHL, with a further $7 million (around Rs 49.65 crore) for increasing its stake in DTCL.

It has also sold divisions to meet its strategic goals. In August 2018, the company sold its UK-business to the London-based private equity firm JZ International for £34 million (about $44 million or Rs 313 crore).

At the time, GCPL chairperson Nisaba Godrej said the decision is guided by the company’s “3 by 3 approach”, which focuses on three categories—home care, hair care and personal care—in the Asia, Africa and Latin American regions.

Similarly, in July that year, the publicly-listed company sold its diaper brand, Snuggy, to Nobel Hygiene Pvt. Ltd for an undisclosed sum of money. It originally acquired Snuggy from Shogun Diapers in 2003.  

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