Diversified IT, personal care and lighting products company, Wipro Ltd, India's third-biggest software services exporter, today that it had agreed to buy some of the personal care businesses of UK-based Yardley for about $45.5 million, adding to its consumer goods business.
Wipro said in a statement that it had signed an agreement with the Lornamead group, which owns the Yardley brand, for the businesses in Asia, the Middle East, Australasia and some African markets. Lornamead retains the Yardley business in Europe and the Americas.
The transaction is expected to be completed by mid-December. According to the company, the transaction adds another jewel to the crown of Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting following its acquisition of Unza in 2007.
Yardley is a global brand established in 1770 in the personal care category, with fragrance, bath and shower, and skincare products. It is a premium priced brand and is one of the few personal care brands which hold Royal Warrants.
The Lornamead Group acquired Yardley from Procter & Gamble in 2005 and went on to invest in the brand's product development, distribution channels and merchandising across international markets, significantly increasing Yardley overall sales and profitability.
Commenting on the transaction, Vineet Agrawal, president, Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting, said, "This transaction adds a very strong brand to our portfolio of personal care products. It fits into our strategy of increasing sales and brand presence in the Middle East. The team handling the Yardley brand has a proven track record and I am confident they can leverage our distribution into other Asian markets. Our understanding of the Indian markets will also help to expand Yardley across this region."
Another company official added, ''The Yardley brand complements our portfolio of Enchanteur and Santoor brands. Yardley is a premium brand with strong equity amongst discerning consumers. Lornamead has achieved enormous success in reviving the brand over the past few years. We are confident that we will be able to develop the Yardley brand further to create one of the powerful brands in personal care using our strong R&D and international presence."
Mike Jatania, chief executive of Lornamead, said, "Lornamead has been able to significantly increase the sales of Yardley globally through our investment in the brand. We will continue to invest in Yardley in Europe and the Americas, in particular through category expansion and new product development in these core markets where we see considerable growth opportunities. Personal care is a core category for us and we will continue to acquire and invest in heritage brands which have strong potential.''