Godrej, Marico eye 250 mn pounds UK brand

Godrej, Marico eye 250 mn pounds UK brand

Mumbai: Godrej Consumer Products Ltd and Marico Ltd have bid for a £250 million (Rs1,925 crore) British brand called Simple, which is one of the largest beauty product brands in the UK, according to people familiar with the development.

Simple was recently put on sale by its promoters, Duke Street Capital, a private equity group that acquired the brand in 2004 for £225 million.

The acquisition of British brand Yardley’s last month by Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting, a unit of Wipro Ltd, seems to have awakened a sleeping giant: the Indian consumer goods industry.

Apart from hunting for brands in West Asia and Africa, other large consumer goods firms are also scouting for acquisitions in Europe, the people said on condition of anonymity.

According to them, Godrej Consumer is also in talks with a hair care company based in the Netherlands. Godrej Consumer said it would not be able to comment on specific deals.

Marico, in an email reply, said, “Marico is, in line with its growth aspirations, an acquisitive company. However, we do not confirm or deny any market speculation as regards any specific target."

Experts said Simple and the Dutch hair care firm are ideal targets for Godrej Consumer but the size of the deal may prove too much to handle. If rival bidders emerge, the firm may not be able to make a counter offer, they said.