Wipro on Monday announced the sale of its flagship vanaspati brand ‘Sunflower’ to Cargill, the US-based agri-business multinational giant for an undisclosed sum. Wipro said the scope of the acquisition is limited to the product brand only.
Wipro’s foundation in 1947 began with an oil crushing unit and later started manufacturing hydrogenated cooking oil, popularly called vanaspati, in 1970. The Sunflower vanaspati has been one of the flagship brands of Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting (WCCL).
Anil Chugh, senior vice-president, WCCL, said, “As part of our strategy, we continuously assess the portfolio of the businesses we are in. We have identified our core market segments to be personal care, skin care, wellness and lighting, and in line with our strategy we are divesting the Sunflower vanaspati business. We are confident that Sunflower vanaspati, which has a strong presence in Western India, will reach greater heights with Cargill, who are focused on vegetable oil and vanaspati business.”
According to Chugh, the Sunflower vanaspati business accounted for around 1% of WCCL’s revenue. “All employees related to this business will be absorbed in our current operations,” he added.
Following this acquisition, Cargill will expand the portfolio of its vanaspati brands, which includes others like Rath, NatureFresh Purita and Gemini. Commenting on the deal, Siraj Chaudhry, chairman Cargill India, said, “Acquiring Sunflower vanaspati underscores Cargill’s long-term commitment to growing consumer food business in India.”
WCCL at the second quarter of FY13 fiscal reported revenue of R1,008 crore registering a yearly growth of 26%. The non-IT division accounts for 9% of the total revenue of Wipro.
WCCL on Saturday last had announced the acquisition of LD Waxson Group, a Singapore-based fast moving consumer goods company for $144 million. This acquisition is expected to expand the portfolio of skincare segment and get a strong foothold in large number of East Asian markets including China.
Wipro has already announced the demerger of the IT and non-IT business and this is expected to be operational from the next fiscal. Under this plan, the non-IT business, which includes WCCL will remain unlisted while the only listed entity will be the IT business.
The Wipro scrip closed at R381.85 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Monday recording a marginal gain of 0.61%.