Wipro Ltd will acquire Singapore-based FMCG company L.D. Waxson Group for Rs 785 crore ($144 million).

“This acquisition fits into our strategy of focusing on developing markets,” Wipro’s Consumer Care and Lighting division’s President Vineet Agrawal told Business Line. This is the eighth acquisition for Wipro’s division in the last nine years. Including this buy, the division has invested about $500 million in acquiring brands.

A press statement from the company said the acquisition will be done entirely by cash.

With this acquisition, 50 per cent of the division's sales will come from international market. This is the second biggest acquisition for Wipro after it bought Unza Holdings for $300 million over five years ago. Wipro said this transaction, which is expected to be closed in the next 60 days, will give the division leadership in the facial skincare markets in Malaysia and Singapore, while expanding its presence in China and other Asian markets.

This is the first acquisition after Wipro last month carved out a separate company, Wipro Enterprises, for non-IT business which includes the consumer care & lighting division and two others. The non-IT businesses contribute 14 per cent of the total revenues of Wipro Ltd.

“We see L. D. Waxson as a good strategic fit. This transaction helps us consolidate our successful facial skincare business in Malaysia to a dominant leadership position, and moves us to market leadership in Singapore as well,” Agrawal said.

Nagender Arya, Regional Director (East Asia, Middle East and Africa), Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting, said the acquisition will help Wipro have a stronger presence in the pharmacy channel in Malaysia.

“We are happy to join Wipro. Bio-essence's success is driven by providing skincare products that truly perform, with visible results for consumers. We are confident that with Wipro’s marketing expertise and extensive distribution network, together we will be able take Bio-essence, Ginvera and other brands to new heights,” said Tor Lam Huat, Chairman, L.D. Waxson Group.

This acquisition will add 1,500 more employees to the Wipro division. Before this acquisition, the division had a total of 6,200 employees.

giriprakash.k@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 8, 2012)
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