WIPRO reminded the world of business that it takes its non-IT portfolio
as seriously as its IT business, by sealing the largest takeover deal
in the FMCG space in recent times. It bought Singapore based FMCG
company Unza for $246 million in an all-cash deal.
The 100% acquisition—the largest in the personal care segment by an Indian company—will give it consolidated annualised revenue of about Rs 1,500 crore, surpassing other pedigree consumer care players such as Marico and Godrej. Wipro is now the third-largest Indian FMCG player behind Nirma (Rs 2,500 crore) and Dabur Foods (Rs 1,700 crore), and the first one to make a big global acquisition. However, Wipro’s consumer arm also includes lighting business.
Private equity majors Actis and Standard Chartered, along with the Unza management, sold their stake as part of the transaction. Wipro survived other strong bidders in the fray, which reportedly included global heavyweights such as Unilever. Unza officials said they opted for Wipro given the strong value systems at the Bangalore-headquartered, $3.5-billion soaps-to-software behemoth. Incidentally, this is Wipro’s biggest acquisition across business streams, surpassing the buyout of BPO company Spectramind for $100 million. Wipro’s nine buyouts in the IT space till date amount to around $360 million.
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