Bangalore: Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting, part of Azim Premji’s Wipro Ltd, will buy skincare products maker LD Waxsons Group for $144 million (around Rs.785 crore) to expand its presence in Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and China.
“The deal makes us the biggest player in Malaysia in skincare with a 26% market share and the No. 2 player in Singapore. It also gives us an opening into Taiwan market,” Vineet Agrawal, president, Wipro Consumer, said in an interview. “Our focus is on categories such as personal care and deodorants, and on developing markets. We found this to be a reasonably priced deal.”
Singapore-based LD Waxsons, which owns brands such as Bio-essence and Ginvera, generates $68 million in annual revenue.
With this deal, Wipro Consumer will get over 50% of its sales from international markets, Agrawal said.
Last month, India’s No. 3 software services provider Wipro said it would separate its non-information technology (IT) units into a separate company to focus on its core IT business, which is grappling with slowing revenue growth and strong competition. The demerger is expected to improve Wipro’s margins slightly and help the company meet a regulatory requirement on promoter shareholding.
Wipro Consumer, which also makes Santoor soaps, is a serial acquirer, striking eight deals over the past nine years. Waxsons is its second biggest deal ever, behind the $300 million it spent on another personal care products maker Unza in 2007. In July, the company said it would buy the Yardley personal care brand’s businesses in the UK and most of Europe as well as another British personal care brand, Woods of Windsor.
Wipro Consumer contributes about 10% of Wipro’s business and is expected to report over Rs.4,000 crore in sales this fiscal year.
The LD Waxsons deal is expected to close within the next 60 days, Wipro said in a statement.