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Global brands in India Inc's kitty

Last updated on: November 10, 2009 10:11 IST

Image: Wipro buys Yardley's Asia biz.
Rediff Business Desk
India Inc's love for global brands has got bigger and better over the years...Making strong inroads in the global acquisition arena, Indian companies have won many big ticket deals and acquisitions.

This year Bharti Airtel was all set to take over South Africa's MTN. It would have been India's biggest-ever M&A deal but months later, the talks failed and the $23 billion deal was called off.  

Here is a look at India Inc's treasure trove of global brands

Wipro buys Yardley's Asia biz

In a $45.5 million (Rs 215 crore) deal, Wipro took over 229-year-old British brand Yardley's business in select markets including India from UK's Lornamead Group to stretch its personal care portfolio to the premium range.

Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting, the consumer products arm of the software firm, snapped up Yardley business across Asia, the Middle East, Australasia as well as north and West Africa for continuing its takeover spree that included Unza.

Yardley will be merged into Wipro Consumer Care's fold by mid-December. Lornamead, controlled by British billionaire Mike Jatania, acquired the Yardley brand in September 2005 for 60 million pounds. It will retain the Yardley business in Europe and America.

Wipro Consumer Care has made a series of acquisitions in the past six years. In 2003, it took over Hindustan Unilever's glucose drink brand Glucovita. A year later, it bought Kerala-based ayurvedic brand Chandrika and Switchgear's switches business in 2006.

In 2007, the company hit the headlines with its $246-million purchase of Singapore-based personal care firm Unza Holdings.

Global brands in India Inc's kitty

Image: Escada gets a new life.
Megha Mittal to buy Escada

Megha Mittal, daughter-in-law of Lakshmi Mittal will buy insolvent Escada, an iconic European luxury fashion house, for an undisclosed amount. Megha Mittal said the first priority is to ensure that the great heritage of this iconic company is translated into a strong and successful future.

Escada, an international fashion group for women's apparel and accessories has 182 shops and 225 franchisees in more than 60 countries.

Earlier, in August the iconic fashion house filed for insolvency after declining sales had a negative impact on the balance sheet of the company. "Despite recent difficulties, Escada has the potential to re-define its place in the world of luxury brands and become synonymous with fine quality and elegance," Mittal said.

Global brands in India Inc's kitty

Image: Lupin grows stronger.
Lupin buys Philippines drug firm

Drug maker Lupin acquired Multicare Pharmaceuticals Philippines Inc. for an undisclosed sum in March 2009. This is Lupin's sixth acquisition in 18 months.

Lupin picked up 51 per cent stake in Philippines' Multicare Pharmaceuticals, a branded generic-drugs company with a presence in women's health and child care. This acquisition marks Lupin's entry into the $2.5-billion pharmaceuticals market in Philippines. Multicare had sales of 272 million Philippine peso ($5.6 million) in 2008.

Global brands in India Inc's kitty

Image: Imperial Oil CEO Bruce March.
Photographs: Todd Korol/Reuters
ONGC buys Imperial Energy

The Oil and Natural Gas Corp took control of Imperial Energy Plc for $2.8 billion, in January 2009, after an overwhelming 96.8 per cent of London-listed firm's total shareholders accepted its takeover offer.

Speaking about India's fifth largest M&A deal, ONGC chairman R S Sharma said the company owed the acquisition to government support, which has seen OVL in the past seven years increase its number of projects to 39 in 17 countries, from just a single project in Vietnam.

This is the biggest overseas ever acquisition by OVL. Imperial has oil producing blocks in Tomsk region of western Siberia in Russia and Kastanai in north-central Kazakhstan. Imperial has reserves of about 3.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent, this would increase ONGC's reserves by around 20 per cent.

Global brands in India Inc's kitty

Image: Land Rover now in India.
Tata Motors buys JLR

Tata Motors acquired the iconic Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) businesses for $2.3 billion in June 2008. With this deal, Tata Motors bagged the necessary intellectual property rights, manufacturing plants, two advanced design centres in the UK and a worldwide network of sales companies.

Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR)vehicles hit the Indian roads in June this year. Tata sells the Jaguar XF and XKR series between Rs 63 lakh and Rs 92 lakh, while Land Rover's Discovery and Range Rover is priced between Rs 63 lakh and Rs 89 lakh.

Global brands in India Inc's kitty

Image: HCL chief Shiv Nadar receives the Padma Bhushan.
HCL buys Axon

In 2008, India's fifth largest IT firm HCL Technologies completed the 440 million pounds (about Rs 3,100 crore) acquisition of UK-based SAP consulting company Axon, after pipping rival Infosys Technologies.

Global brands in India Inc's kitty

Image: B Mutharaman, Tata Steel MD; Ratan Tata, Tata chairman; J Leng, Corus chair; and P Varin, Corus CEO.
Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters

Tata Steel bags Corus

Corus is still the largest Indian takeover of a foreign company. This deal made Tata Steel the world's fifth-largest steel group. After months of negotiations, the board of directors of Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus accepted a $7.6 billion takeover bid from Tata Steel.

The Tata Steel-Corus deal, sealed in June 2008, is among top deals witnessed by the steel industry over the last couple of years.

The Tatas have led India's acquisition spree over the years. In 2000, the group acquired UK's Tetley Tea for $431 million.

Other major deals include Tata Tea's acquisition of US-based Energy Brands Inc for $677 million, Tata Steel's buyout of Singapore's Natsteel for $486 million and Thailand's Millennium Steel, Tata Coffee's buyout of Eight O'Clock Coffee for $220 million and Tata Motors' takeover of the truck division of Daewoo Motors of South Korea.

Global brands in India Inc's kitty

Image: Kumar Mangalam Birla (centre), chairman of Aditya Birla Group.
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters.
Hindalco buys Novelis

Aditya Birla Group co, Hindalco Industries acquired Canadian company Novelis Inc in a $6-billion, all-cash deal in February 2007.

The acquisition would make Hindalco the global leader in aluminium rolled products and one of the largest aluminium producers in Asia. With post-acquisition combined revenues in excess of $10 billion, Hindalco would enter the Fortune 500 listing of world's largest companies by sales revenues.

Global brands in India Inc's kitty

Image: ArcelorMittal corporate centre.
Photographs: Courtesy, ArcelorMittal.
Mittal Steel buys Arcelor

Mittal Steel took over Arcelor after an intense battle of five months. Mittal acquired the company for $34 billion making the merged company, the world's largest steel entity, Arcelor-Mittal.

Arcelor Mittal, acquired Sicartsa from Grupo Villacero for $1.43 billion (Rs 6,006 crore) in February 2007.

Global brands in India Inc's kitty

Image: Tulsi Tanti, chairman and managing director of Suzlon Energy Ltd.
Photographs: Chip East/Reuters
Suzlon Energy buys REpower

Wind power major Suzlon Energy acquired the German wind turbine manufacturer REpower for $1.7 billion in May 2007.

REpower is one of Germany's leading manufacturers of wind turbines, with a 10-per cent share of the overall market.

Suzlon is the largest wind turbine maker in Asia and the fifth largest in the world.

Global brands in India Inc's kitty

Image: Vedanta Group chairman Anil Agarwal.
Photographs: Rediff Archives.
A look at the big deals in the making...

Sterlite to buy Asarco
The UK-listed Indian mining company Vedanta, is fighting a tough battle to take over Asarco, the bankrupt US copper mining company. Grupo Mexico lost control over the company after Asarco filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2005. Sterlite had proposed a plan last year to take Asarco out of bankruptcy and pay off its creditors, a deal which was countered by Grupo Mexico. The two companies have raised offers several times in the past year. In the latest development, Sterlite raised its bid to $2.57bn beating Grupo Mexico's $2.48bn offer.

Tata Tea eyes Russian co
Tata Tea, through one of its overseas subsidiaries, together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development plans to acquire 51 per cent stake in Grand, a branding, packing and distribution company in Russia.

R-ADAG to buy UK currency exchange firm
Reliance ADAG is planning to acquire 51 per cent stake in UK-based currency exchange and money transfer firm No 1 Currency, a privately held firm owned by its two founding partners David Hale and Mark McElney.

Aegis to ICT Group
Aegis, the BPO outfit of the Essar Group, plans to acquire the Nasdaq-listed ICT Group (ICTG) for $132 million.

Reliance eyes acquisitions
Reliance Industries Limited is believed to have initiated discussions for possible acquisitions abroad, including the US and European assets of troubled global petrochemicals and crude oil refiner LyondellBasell.

LyondellBasell, which was created after merger of Lyondell and Basell in December 2007, is a refiner of crude oil, a significant producer of gasoline blending components, a global manufacturer of chemicals and polymers, and the leading developer and licensor of technologies for polymer production.