Azim Premji-led Wipro Ltd, India’s third largest software services provider, is to acquire Singapore-based FMCG company L.D. Waxson Group for an all-cash transaction worth about $144 million or around Rs 790 crore.

According to Wipro, the company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100 per cent shareholding of the LD Waxson Group which will give it ownership of skincare brands, Bio-essence and Ginvera. The transaction is expected to be closed within the next 60 days.

L.D. Waxson Group has a wide portfolio of brands, including leading skin care brands such as Bio-essence and Ginvera, and healthcare brand Ebene. The company has manufacturing facilities in China and Malaysia, and has a strong footprint in Singapore, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Thailand.

The revenues of LD Waxson for FY2012 stand at around $68 million.

Last month, Wipro Ltd said that it would be demerging its non-IT businesses including Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting (including the furniture business), Wipro Infrastructure Engineering (hydraulics & water businesses) and the medical diagnostic products & services business (through its strategic joint venture) into a separate company, to be named Wipro Enterprises Ltd, which would be an unlisted firm.

The current deal is expected to increase the geographical penetration of Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting and thus give Wipro a leadership position in the facial skincare market in Malaysia and Singapore; expand its presence in China and enhance its market position in other Asian markets.

Commenting on the deal, Vineet Agrawal, president of Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting, said, “We have a great track record of successful acquisitions including Unza and Yardley. We see L.D. Waxson as a good strategic fit. This transaction helps us consolidate our successful facial skincare business in Malaysia to a dominant leadership position and moves us to market leadership in Singapore as well.”

“This acquisition enables us to establish a significant presence in the China skin care market,” noted Nagender Arya, regional director (East Asia, the Middle East and Africa) of Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting. “It helps us to expand to Western and Eastern China markets, and enter the Taiwan market. It also makes us stronger in pharmacy channel in Malaysia,” he added.

Tor Lam Huat, chairman of L.D. Waxson Group, said, “We are happy to join Wipro, a company that shares our passion in developing brands, driven by consumer insight and innovative marketing, and has seen success in this region.”

In July this year, Wipro signed an agreement with Lornamead Group to acquire the Yardley business in the UK and select European countries (excluding Germany and Austria). Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting acquired the Yardley portfolio for Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Australasia from Lornamead back in December 2009.

Yardley was established in 1770 and its portfolio mainly includes personal care products like soaps, perfumes, body sprays and talcs.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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