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Hindustan Unilever Adds to Its Personal-Care Base

Hindustan Unilever to acquire Indulekha, an ayurvedic manufacturer of hair and skin care.

NEW DELHI — In a bid to strengthen its personal-care portfolio, Hindustan Unilever said it will acquire Indulekha, a premium ayurvedic manufacturer of hair- and skin-care products.

Hair oil is used extensively for hair care as well as for grooming in India. Signing the agreement with the Mosons Group signals a major step up in Unilever’s positioning in the hair oil and grooming segment, as well as a move into the naturals arena.

Sanjiv Mehta, Unilever’s chief executive officer and managing director, underscored the fact that the acquisition would strengthen his company’s leadership position in the personal-care segment, strengthening [its] premium brand portfolio with strong credentials around Ayurveda, he said.

Unilever has the biggest market share in the personal-care market in India, with a strong position in skin care — it is the single largest player in the fairness segment with its Fair & Lovely brand, and has other popular brands such as Pond’s Lakme, Dove, etc. It also has a strong positioning in hair care, with brands such as Clinic Plus, Tresemmé, Sunsilk, Dove, etc. According to Euromonitor International, the Unilever group had 34.6 percent of the mass beauty and personal-care market in 2014. Unilever had a turnover of 300 billion rupees, or $4.5 billion for the financial year, ended March 31, 2015. The personal-care segment contributes to 30 percent of company sales.

Indulekha has a strong presence in the Southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, and was recently launched in Maharashtra and is owned by Mosons Extractions Pvt. Ltd.

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