Marico eyeing acquisitions of beauty firms in Asia, Africa

Marico eyeing acquisitions of beauty firms in Asia, Africa

Mumbai: Fast moving consumer goods company Marico Industries is scouting for acquisitions in Asia and Africa in the beauty and wellness segment, chairman and managing director Harsh Mariwala said.

“We will try and look for acquisitions in the beauty and wellness segment. Broadly, we are looking at Asia and Africa. We may look at larger countries in terms of population like Egypt or South Africa, but a lot depends on the options available," Mariwala said.

Although he did not specify the amount earmarked for acquisitions or the nature of funding, Mariwala said valuations have still not corrected.

Marico and rival Godrej Consumer Products Ltd are rumoured to be eyeing UK-based skin care brand ‘Simple’.

Mariwala, however, said that the company would be “a little hesitant to enter Britain because that market is different" and only emerging markets allow it to leverage its growth experience in India better.

BSE-listed Marico has a significant presence in most categories like coconut oil, hair oils, post wash hair care, anti-lice treatment, premium refined edible oils and niche fabric care among others.

The Rs2,390-crore company has decided to increase spend on marketing and overall packaging for brands like Revive and Medicare, he said.

The FMCG major markets well-known brands such as

Parachute, Saffola, Sweekar, Hair & Care, Nihar, Shanti, Mediker, Revive, Manjal, Kaya, Aromatic, Fiancee among others.

“We are actually spending a lot in Revive. We have launched Revive Liquid, we are prototyping Revive Blue, which is a combination of a blue and starch in Kerala and West Bengal. Medicare is also being invested in and it is a growing brand," Mariwala said.

The company will, however, not up marketing spend in edible oil brand Sweekar due to low margins on the product.

“We are recording a more or less double digit volume growth for our products and most of them except Sweekar have a good margin profile. Sweekar is a brand in which we are not spending much in terms of marketing investments because the margin profile is very low," Mariwala said.

Despite pricing pressures led by high cost of raw materials, Marico has ruled out an increase in product prices.

“There is some degree of upturn in prices but its not much. At least in the next quarter we don’t see a price increase," he said.