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Hotel-to-Cigarette conglomerate ITC Ltd today announced that it will be acquiring a 16% stake in Mother Sparsh, a direct to consumer (D2C) ayurvedic and natural personal care start-up, for 20 crore through a share subscription agreement.

"The said acquisition will enable access to the fast growing direct to consumer (D2C) space in the 'personal care' category, which has been identified by the company as an area of interest," ITC Ltd has said in a filing.

On Friday, ITC shares were down 2.75% in noon deals at 224.95 apiece on NSE.

This share acquisition is expected to be completed, in two tranches, within 8 months from the date of execution of the agreements.

Mother Sparsh, which was incorporated in 2016, is a premium ayurvedic and natural personal care start-up in the D2C space, with focus on mother and baby care segments.

The company had reported a turnover of 15 crore for the financial year ended March 2021.

"Mother Sparsh has a wide range of baby and mother care products that leverages the wisdom and knowledge of Ayurveda for potent product delivery," ITC said.

ITC said the investment is in line with the ‘ITC Next’ strategy articulated by Chairman Sanjiv Puri, which aims to build a future ready organization with a digital first culture.

"One of the identified pillars of this strategy is to accelerate digital transformation by developing digital first FMCG brands. ITC has also been focusing on strengthening D2C platforms of distribution and has created a vibrant ITC eStore," the company said.

“We believe that this investment provides an exciting opportunity which is in alignment with our aspiration to have a significant play both in the naturals and ayurvedic segment as well as in the D2C channel. Mother Sparsh has, within a short span of time, evolved into an effective D2C brand with a range of innovative products and a lot of promise," Sameer Satpathy, Chief Executive, Personal Care Products Business, ITC stated.

ITC has been focusing on the non-cigarette FMCG business over the past few years. In 2020, it acquired spice-manufacturer Sunrise Foodsat an 'upfront' cash deal price of 2,150 crore.

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