Godrej to acquire 51% stake in 'Darling Group' the pan-African leading hair care company

Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) announced that it has entered into an agreement for the rights to acquire 51% stake in Darling Group Holdings that operates in 14 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. The Darling Group manufactures and distributes the full range of hair extension products - which is among the largest hair care categories in Africa. Darling Group's brands "Darling' and "Amigos' are market leaders in almost all of the countries that the Group operates in.

Commenting on the acquisition, Adi Godrej, Chairman, GCPL, said: "The Darling Group enables us to take our presence in Africa to the next level. Our aspiration is to touch the lives of at least 100 million consumers across Africa in the next 5 years through superior quality innovative products at affordable prices. Over 500 million Indians use at least one Godrej product on a daily basis ' we would like to build a similar kind of trust and relationship with the African consumer and delight them.

Over the past 4 years, we have made 3 acquisitions in the region. These businesses have performed well and we have learnt a lot on what it takes to be successful in Africa. We believe that the strong share positions that the Darling Group brands enjoy will further accelerate our trajectory of sustainable profitable growth in the region.

We believe that the timing is opportune for us to scale up our presence in the region. More than ever, we are convinced about the tremendous potential that Africa offers. India and Africa have enjoyed a close association spanning multiple decades. There are significant cultural similarities between the regions, along with a rich legacy of Indian diaspora who have made Africa their home. There are also several similarities in the retail and distribution environments across India and Africa. With healthy growth rates projected for the various economies and a sizeable middle class emerging in the region, Africa is clearly the next frontier of growth.

Establishing a strong foothold in Africa is a key part of our 3 by 3 strategy ' presence in emerging markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America through 3 core categories ' hair care, home care and personal wash. Over the last few years, we have been following a very disciplined approach to making acquisitions with strong value creation potential that fit well strategically, operationally and culturally, and are EPS accretive. The integration of our recent acquisitions is ahead of plan. We have also invested a lot of effort in putting in place strong integration processes and best in class management systems for our international business. We have a dedicated international centre under a seasoned head of international operations to ensure that we fully capture the value from our international assets.

We are confident that we have the right building blocks in place to propel GCPL towards its goal of becoming a leading emerging markets FMCG leader. Along with continuing to drive our domestic India business to full potential, we remain committed to capitalizing on the huge potential available to us in other attractive geographies."

A Mahendran, Managing Director, GCPL added: "We are very excited about our game changing partnership with the Darling Group. The Darling Group fits in very well with our entrepreneurial culture and our aspiration to become an emerging markets powerhouse in the ethnic hair care space. As one of the largest hair care businesses in Africa, the company has a strong track record in innovative high quality value-for-money products for the African consumer.

The Darling Group has been a pioneer in hair extensions products, which is one of the most exciting segments in the hair care category in the region. The Darling and Amigos brands are household names in this category in Africa.

With a presence in Africa for almost 30 years, the Darling Group has a seasoned management team that has a strong track record in establishing successful businesses across 14 countries in sub Saharan Africa.

The Godrej ' Darling Group partnership offers tremendous opportunities for value creation. We look forward to working with the Darling Group team to accelerate the growth trajectory of the business through our global experience in branding, operations and human capital management and our best in class systems and processes. Over time, we also believe that this acquisition can provide a strong distribution and marketing platform for taking other home and personal care products from the Godrej portfolio to the African consumer."


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