Hindustan Unilever marks entrance into health and wellbeing segment with 51% stake in Zywie Ventures Pvt Ltd

INDIA – Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), an Indian consumer goods company, has forayed into the health and wellbeing segment with the acquisition of a 51% stake in Zywie Ventures Pvt Ltd for a total consideration of ₹264.28 crore (US$32.4m) for the first tranche.

“Hindustan Unilever Limited (“the Company”) has completed the acquisition of 51% shareholding of Zywie for a total consideration of ₹264.28 Crores for the first tranche, following the terms and conditions of the Definitive Agreements dated 8th December 2022,” said Hindustan Unilever in its regulatory filing.

Through a combination of main infusion and secondary buyouts, HUL has acquired a 51% equity stake and after 36 months, it will go for the remaining 49% based on pre-agreed valuation criteria.

Zywie Ventures, which OZiva, a pioneering plant-based and clean-label consumer wellness brand that was established in 2016, focuses on areas with significant demand for lifestyle protein, hair and beauty supplements, and women’s health.

The company is involved in manufacturing, buying, selling, trading, and dealing in protein products; vitamins, minerals, and supplements; and beauty and personal care. The company reported a turnover of ₹124.17 crore (US$15.2m) for the financial year ended 31 March 2022.

Meanwhile, HUL’s net profit rose to ₹2,616 crore (US$321m) for the three months ended 30 September from ₹2,187 (US$268.3m) reported in the year-ago period. The FMCG major’s revenue from operations rose 15.9% to ₹14,751 crore as against ₹12,724 crore in the same quarter last year.

The subsidiary of the British company Unilever recently went into a mutual agreement of terminating its partnership with healthcare firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for selling Over-the-Counter (OTC) and oral care products by November 2023, nearly two years before the agreed period.

Before the partnership came in; Iodex, Eno, Crocin, and Sensodyne products owned by GSK were distributed by the GSK Consumer unit in India.

In addition, reports from India have speculated that the FMCG company is in talks to acquire majority stakes in direct-to-consumer brands Wellbeing Nutrition and Conscious Food to strengthen in-house product categories.

The conglomerate is keen to ramp up its Annapurna brand, which primarily offers Atta and salt, and house Conscious Food under the same vertical if the deal materializes.

The reports note that the Wellbeing Nutrition transaction will be around US$20 million, while the size of the Conscious Food deal couldn’t be ascertained.

Wellbeing Nutrition is a plant-based nutrition company offering products across daily wellness, functional nutrition, children’s organic nutrition, and natural Nutri-cosmetics while Conscious Food offers products such as sprouted wheat Dalia, sprouted ragi flour, semolina, digestive mix, spirulina power, Gir cow ghee, herbs, and energizing tea.

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