Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cargill to Buy Marico's Sweekar Brand

Bangalore--Food and agricultural products company Cargill has agreed to buy Indian consumer goods maker Marico Ltd's refined sunflower oil brand, Sweekar, for an undisclosed amount.

U.S.-based Cargill said the acquisition strengthens its existing portfolio of edible oil consumer brands. It already sells sunflower oil locally under the NatureFresh and Gemini brands.

Cargill's acquisition of the Sweekar brand comes at a time when foreign consumer goods makers are looking to increase their exposure to India, one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The government estimates economic growth will rise to 8.6% this fiscal year ending March 31 from 8% last year.

U.K.-listed Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC--which sells brands such as Dettol, Durex and Disprin in India--last December agreed to buy privately held Indian company Paras Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Paras sells over-the-counter products such as cold-and-flu remedy D'Cold and Moov pain relief ointment.

Cargill Friday said the acquisition is limited to the Sweekar brand.

While Marico has positioned Sweekar as a low-cost edible oil aimed at the mass market, its flagship Saffola brand is targeted at the premium edible oil segment.

Marico seems to have finally found a buyer for the low-margin Sweekar brand that it has been looking to exit for some time, said Gautam Duggad, an analyst at Mumbai-based brokerage Prabhudas Lilladher.

Marico was not immediately available for comment.

"Acquiring the Sweekar brand underscores Cargill's long-term commitment to growing our consumer food business in India," said Cargill India Chairman Siraj Chaudhry in a statement.

Lazard India acted as the sole financial advisor for Cargill in the acquisition, the statement added.

In 2008, Marico sold its processed foods business under the Sil brand to Denmark's Good Food Group.


Post a Comment

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Grocery Coupons