Marico builds ethnic hair portfolio with Isoplus acquisition

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Marico acquires Isoplus
Indian consumer personal care group, Marico, adds South African ethnic hair styling collection, Isoplus, to its growing portfolio.

Marico South Africa, a wholly owned step-down subsidiary of Marico, announced the acquisition on the 28th July 2017. As part of the deal, the personal care name has acquired the manufacturing facilities, working capital and all intellectual property rights of Isoplus.

The agreement with leading hair styling brand, Isoplus - owned by JM Products - and its owner, Mary Harris, was made for 75 mn South African Rand (€4.71 mn).

Ethnic hair care

Hailed as a strategic buyout, and as a part of its long-term expansion plans, Marico now moves closer to its position as afull spectrum ethnic hair care company”​ in South Africa, the Indian personal care brand revealed in a recent press release.

JM Products, which was established in 1995, is comprised of sizeable African-American companies that produce hair care products throughout South Africa. Hair styling items make up the second fastest growing segment within ethnic hair care, with a value market share of 27%.

As part of its hair care styling goods, Isoplus manufactures and promotes its oil sheens and styling gels as two of its core product lines. In 2016, JM Products generated a sales turnover of 62 mn South African Rand (€3.9 mn).

“This bolt-on acquisition plugs a critical gap in Marico’s portfolio in the ethnic hair care space in South Africa, ”​ commented Saugata Gupta, MD and CEO, Marico.

With the acquisition of Isoplus, Marico has now secured its position in the ethnic hair care market. Marico currently operates in South Africa through multiple names such as Caivil, Black Chic, Just for Kids, Hercules and Medi-Pac via the dominant hair colour segments, after care maintenance and chemical treatment spheres.

John Mason, Managing Director and Business Head, MSA, added: “The strength of the brand Isoplus coupled with years of sales and marketing expertise developed within will enable us to grow both, the category and our presence in the category in the long run.”

Asia and Africa: Ethnic hair care markets to watch

In July 2017, Cosmetics Design Asia reported how Marico is appealing to multiple demographics via its Hair & Care Fruit Oils range​. As it aims to build a “youthful and contemporary”​ brand, Marico is promoting an energetic and engaging brand through a multi-city outdoor campaign.

Euromonitor International reveals that in South Africa, ethnic consumers tend to invest in weaves or wigs and therefore, typically ethnic consumers tend to spend more than their white counterparts to achieve their desired look”.

International beauty and wellness creator, Marico, saw a turnover of INR 59 bn (€784 mn) during 2016-2017 through its sales in India, and the wider Asia and Africa markets.

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