Wipro moves in on South African cosmetics market with Canway acquisition

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Wipro Consumer Care has agreed to acquire Canway Corporation. ©Canway
Wipro Consumer Care has agreed to acquire Canway Corporation. ©Canway

Related tags: wipro, South africa, SEA

Singapore-based personal care firm Wipro Consumer Care has agreed to acquire Canway Corporation to gain a foothold in the South African personal care market.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020, subject to the approval from the relevant regulatory authorities. Wipro declined to reveal the details of the transaction.

Canway is a personal care company in South Africa and the owner of brands such as Oh So Heavenly, Iwori and IQ.

“It is an important milestone for us towards our vision of being among the top three players in Personal Care in Asia and Africa... Canway is an ideal partner as the team’s passion and entrepreneurial spirit matches that of Wipro’s,”​ said Nagender Arya, president, East Asia, Africa, and Europe, Wipro Consumer Care.

This marks Wipro’s 12th​ acquisition in the last 16 years and will allow the firm to expand its business into South Africa, a highly attractive market for the company.

“We are excited to expand our business into the growing and attractive South African market, as it is the largest personal care market in Africa, and the second-largest economy of the continent,”​ said Deepak Chandran, CFO of Wipro Consumer Care International.

He added that the market was forecasted to grow to more than US$2 trillion by 2025 driven by the growing middle class and rising household spending.

“This will lead to a higher penetration in the personal care segment and we see an opportunity to further expand several personal care categories that are at an early stage of maturity in the market,”​ said Chandran.

In the future, the company said it would look into expanding into other African markets as well.

Expanding portfolio

According to Wipro, Oh So Heavenly is a market leader in multiple categories in the South African market, including as bath & shower, hand creams, fragranced body sprays, and kids’ products.

The brand is available exclusively through the leading health and beauty retailer, Clicks, and has been voted the ‘Most Loved Brand’ by shoppers for eight years, beating leading global brands.

The Oh So Heavenly brand is strong in the Southern African region, providing a consumer-led offering that focuses on fragrance, effective formulation and value that appeals to female consumers widely,” ​said Chandran.

He added that Oh So Heavenly’s brand proposition had international appeal, making the product offering relevant to consumers in other markets.

“In particular, South East Asian consumers have a growing propensity to adopt international brands that offer high quality products and have a strong value proposition.  As and when appropriate, we look forward to sharing these products with consumers in markets Wipro is already present in.”

The firm also sees an opportunity to launch its own brands in South Africa by leveraging on Canway’s resources and capabilities.

“We do see an opportunity to expand our leading South East Asian brands with more consumers in Africa by leveraging Canway’s distribution and manufacturing capabilities. Once the acquisition is completed, we will look at which brands in our portfolio, such as Safi, Bio-essence, Enchanteur and Romano, suit the needs of African consumers,” ​said Chandran.

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