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Zydus Wellness to buy India biz of Complan-maker Kraft Heinz for Rs 4,595 cr

twitter-logoPTI | October 24, 2018 | Updated 18:12 IST

(Eds: Updating with more details) New Delhi, Oct 24 (PTI) Consumer products firm Zydus Wellness Wednesday announced acquisition of India business of Complan-maker Kraft Heinz Co for Rs 4,595 crore in a bid to expand product portfolio in the world's fastest growing economy. Zydus and Cadila Healthcare will gain control of instant-energy drink Glucon-D, talcum power brand Nycil and ghee brand Sampriti from the acquisition of Heinz India, the companies said in regulatory filings. Tata Group and consumer goods manufacturer Dabur India were reported to be among the suitors for the Kraft Heinz's India businesses. Rival Glaxo's health drink Horlicks is also said to be up for sale, for which Nestle, Unilever and Coca-Cola are reported to be among the bidders. Ahmedabad-based Zydus will get global rights for Glucon-D, Nycil and Sampriti Ghee and would acquire rights for India, Bangladesh, Nepal and countries where the seller has intellectual property rights for Complan. Revenues from Complan, Glucon-D, Nycil and Sampriti Ghee were about Rs 1,150 crore in 12 months ended June 30. The deal will push annual revenue of Zydus Wellness to Rs 1,700 crore. The deal comes at a time when the nutrition drinks market is slowing as consumers wary of sugar content in these products shift to Ayurveda-based products. The nutrition drinks market is estimated to grow at 5.6 per cent during 2017 and 2022 from 16.1 per cent in the previous five years. The valuation for Heinz India includes net working capital of Rs 40 crore and cash of Rs 15 crore but does not assume any debt, Zydus said in a statement adding the acquisition is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of the current fiscal year. A mix of debt and equity would be used to fund the transaction and "select leading private equity firms have committed to partnering the transaction by way of equity support," it said. Supplement nutrition drinks market is estimated to be worth Rs 1,700 crore last year. Kraft Heinz started operations in India in 1994 and has two manufacturing facilities in Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh and Sitarganj in Uttarakhand. The manufacturing facilities are part of the deal. Kraft Heinz said it will continue to grow its Heinz sauces and other Kraft businesses in India. Heinz India has a strong distribution network of over 800 distributors, more than 20,000 wholesalers covering 29 states, the statement said. Zydus Wellness Chairman Sharvil Patel said: "This development offers immense opportunity to broaden our portfolio and invest in brands and products that we believe are most relevant to health-conscious consumers." It leverages the group heritage, innovation track record, combined brand offerings and capabilities to meet and exceed its consumers' evolving health and wellness needs, he added. "This acquisition will be an ideal addition to Zydus Wellness, supporting our aspirations to grow in the consumer wellness space by providing multiple choices to consumers," Patel said. When asked whether Zydus would also bid for Horlicks, which is believed to be on the shelves from its promoter, Patel said: "No. We are not. For the time and strategic rationale, this brand (Complan) makes more sense for us." The acquisition is beneficial in terms of well-entrenched brands in the fast-growing categories of food, nutrition and skin care as well as complementary distribution capabilities. The brands to be acquired have a strong market presence and a legacy of over 50 years, it added. With brands like Sugar-Free, EverYuth and Nutralite, Zydus Wellness has a strong brand equity in the food, nutrition and skin care markets, the company said. Zydus was advised by Avendus Capital and Khaitan & Co. J P Morgan Securities LLC served as the financial adviser to Kraft Heinz, while India-based Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and global law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher served as legal advisers. PTI KRH AKT ANZ ANU ANU

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