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Developed markets not out of GPCL's buyout sight

Portfolio needs might compel the consumer goods major to look at companies in developed ones


Viveat Susan Pinto  |  Mumbai 

Following the acquisition of US-based hair care major Strength of Nature (SON) last week, Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL) might consider looking at assets in developed markets, depending on portfolio requirements, the firm's Managing Director Vivek Gambhir said.

"Emerging markets is our top priority and our attention will be there. But, if there are based in the developed world with an eye on emerging markets, we may consider them in keeping with our needs," he said.

SON has presence in the US and Africa and the estimated Rs 1,200-crore acquisition is expected to help GCPL gain a stronger hold in wet hair care (for women of African descent), a $1.8-2 billion market.

GCPL, for the record, is the leader in dry hair care segment (for women of African descent), a $2.1 billion market, where the company has 25 per cent share.

Gambhir said SON was a carefully considered buy, given that the US market is critical in its endeavour to emerge as a global player in the hair care market for women of African descent.

At a broader level, GCPL is among the key within the $2.25-billion (or Rs 13,500-crore) Godrej Group driving the latter's 10 by 10 strategy, which is a 10-fold growth in revenues in a decade. The others include Godrej Agrovet and Godrej Properties, respectively.

In the past seven years, revenue from international operations for GCPL has grown from 22 per cent to 47 per cent, aided by acquisitions done in overseas markets. Operating profit has improved from 22 per cent to 41 per cent in the same time, with the Rs 8,242-crore company expected to step up acquisitions in the coming months as the consolidation of the first phase of buys done between 2010 and 2013 is complete.

In one year alone, the firm has done three acquisitions, including Frika Hair in South Africa, Canon Chemicals in Kenya, and SON now.

The company is also expected to take some of its Indian products into overseas markets, especially Africa in the coming months. These include household insecticides and air freshners, respectively. Besides Africa, India and Indonesia are two other markets, where the firm is scouting for buys.

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First Published: Mon, April 04 2016. 00:45 IST