The soap-to-software conglomerate Wipro has acquired a portion of the 239-year-old global heritage brand Yardley, a household name in personal care, for $45.5 million from UK-based Lornamead Group.
For Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting, the fast-moving consumer goods business of the Wipro group, this is the second major inorganic breakthrough after it snapped up Unza, a Singapore-based FMCG major, for $256 million in 2007.
This acquisition underscores the fact that the diversified major is equally focussed on an aggressive M&A strategy for all its businesses.
The latest deal covers Yardley’s businesses in the Asian, Australasia, Middle-East and some African markets. Lornamead will retain the business in Europe and Americas. Revenues on a run rate basis for the business are $24 million, Wipro said in a filing with the exchanges. The deal is expected to close by mid-December.
Yardley was established in 1770 and has products in fragrance, bath and shower and skin care. The brand has changed hands in the past with Lornamead acquiring it from Proctor & Gamble in 2005. Wipro aims to be a strong FMCG across the Asian markets and Yardley will compliment its Enchateur and Santoor brands.
Wipro has, in the past, acquired brands like Chandrika, Glucovita and Northwest. Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting reported revenues of Rs 2,080 crore with a PBIT (profit before interest and taxes) of Rs 250 crore for FY09.
“This transaction adds a very strong brand to our portfolio of personal care products. It fits well into our strategy of increasing sales and brand presence in Middle East. Our understanding of Indian markets will also help Yardley expand across this region,” said Vineet Agrawal, president, Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting.