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Dabur in talks to buy Fem Care for Rs 300 crore

15 Oct 2008

Dabur India is in talks to acquire FMCG and pharma company Fem Care Pharma, famous for its Fem bleach, for about Rs 270-300 crore. Sources said the deal is aimed at extending Dabur’s consumer care portfolio.

Dabur, the country’s fourth-largest FMCG company has been on the lookout for acquisitions for quite some time now. Its last acquisition was in 2005, when it bought Balsara’s hygiene and home products business for about Rs 143 crore. The acquisition brought Balsara brands such as Promise, Babool and Meswak (oral care), Odomos (mosquito repellent) and Odonil and Odopic (home care) into Dabur’s fold.

Since then, the company has been scouting for potential targets, largely abroad to spread its global presence. Dabur was keen on acquiring Singapore-based personal care products maker Unza Holdings. Wipro ultimately snapped up Unza for $246 million (about Rs 1,010 crore) last year. Fem Care Pharma is a BSE-listed company, best known for its eponymous bleach endorsed by actress Sonali Bendre at one point. Apart from bleach, it also makes other consumer products such as anti-ageing cream, soaps and fabric softener. Fem’s pharmaceutical division makes products such as anti-dandruff shampoo, calcium supplements and nasal econgestants, apart from ointments to treat skin-related problems.

It also operates as a contract manufacturer of cosmetic and pharma products, apart from a maker and exporter of bulk drugs. For the year ended March 2008, its net sales stood at Rs 93.7 crore. The skin care market in India is estimated at about Rs 2,000-2,500 crore, with the fairness market constituting about Rs 1,000-1,200 crore of it.

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