NCLT approves Heinz India-Zydus Nutritions’ US$630m merger deal

INDIA – The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has approved Zydus Wellness’ acquisition bid for Heinz India Pvt Ltd in a merger deal valued at about US$630 million (Rs 4,595 crore).

Through its Zydus Nutritions business, Cadila Healthcare, one of the leading pharmaceuticals group in India said the acquisition will enhance synergies in the fast-growing categories of food, nutrition and skin care.

The deal includes the business related to Heinz four brands: GluconD, Nycil, Sampriti and Complan.

It also includes two large manufacturing facilities of Heinz India in Aligarh and Sitarganj and teams devoted to operations, research, sales, marketing and support.

In January, Zydus Wellness announced it had completed the acquisition after the Competition Commission of India approved the deal.

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The parent company, Cadila Healthcare has a presence in over 25 markets and operates in vaccines, consumer wellness, health care, and animal health products.

“National Company Law Tribunal Bench at Ahmedabad has passed an order dated May 10, 2019, approving the scheme of amalgamation between two subsidiaries, Heinz India Pvt Ltd with Zydus Nutritions Ltd (ZNL),” said the company.

“Upon amalgamation, Heinz has ceased to be in existence and also to be the subsidiary of the company.”

According to the company, the effective date of the scheme is May 24, 2019.

Heinz India is a subsidiary of the US-based Kraft Heinz and had a distribution network of over 800 and over 20,000 wholesalers covering 29 states.

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According to the Heinz Ketchup maker, which appointed Miguel Patricio as company’s new CEO, the sale of Heinz India business fits into its global growth strategy and focus on investing in brands within its core categories.

With brands such as Sugar Free, EverYuth and Nutralite, Zydus Wellness has a strong brand equity in the food, nutrition and skin care markets.

The merger is said to have a combined strength of five manufacturing facilities, 1,800 distributors, and nearly two million customer touch points.

Even as some players are streamlining their global strategies through exists, Indian consumer business is finding strong interest from investors by the consumer goods and retail sector.

British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline is also another global player that seems to be weighing its Indian presence, after selling its nutrition business brands including Horlicks to Unilever late last year.

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