Wipro acquires South African personal care company

Industry:    December, 2019

Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting (WCCL), the consumer care business of software provider Wipro Ltd, has acquired South African personal care maker Canway Corporation to enter the country with 58 million consumer base.

Durban-based Canway Corporation is a USD 21 million personal care company which markets mass brands such as Oh So Heavenly, Iwori and IQ with a category portfolio including bath and shower, hand cream, body spray and kids products.

The transaction, the deal size of which was undisclosed, is now subject to the approval of regulatory authorities, the company said at a press conference.

The maker of Santoor soap and Yardley deos, said the acquisition will give Wipro Consumer an entry into South Africa which is the largest personal care market in Africa and the second largest economy of the continent.

“We are clear that we want a footprint in developing countries where we have a headway and penetration and consumption goes up. South Africa is a developing country with a per capita income of USD 6300, which is three times that of India. Canway has grown double digit over the years. It gives us a tremendous base,” said Vineet Agrawal, chief executive at WCCL.

WCCL already has a small presence in South Africa with flagship soap brand Santoor. With this deal, the company will evaluate its launch in India in terms of attractive packaging, perfume parameters and gifting by February.

This is the second acquisition for WCCL in a year. The company had acquired Philippines’ personal care maker Splash Corporation for USD 80 million in April. The company’s largest deal was in 2007 when it acquired Singapore’s Unza Holdings about Rs1000 crore.

“We have spent USD 950 million over the last 17 years on 12 acquisitions. This is the first time that WCCL has made two acquisitions this fiscal. The geographies are different and we are equipped to handle two acquisitions in a year now.”

With the deal, WCCL now has presence in India, South Africa, China, Malaysia and Philippines. International business accounted for nearly 51% of Wipro Consumers’ annual sales of a billion dollar in 2018.

“Post the Philippines acquisition in Splash in April, we roughly earned 54% of our business from overseas. Since this deal is relatively smaller, we will remain at the same value,” Agrawal added.

The company said that it will continue to look at markets in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.