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Unilever Seeks Greater Control Over Indian Unit Hindustan Unilever

May 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever is investing $5.4 billion to boost its ownership and control over Hindustan Unilever Ltd., which last year achieved a 37 percent increase in earnings selling brands custom-designed to appeal to Indian consumers. Competition in the $42 billion Indian market for beauty, home care and packaged food products is fierce. Competitors like P&G and Colgate-Palmolive (CL) Co. are pushing hard to gain market share, though so far Hindustan Unilever has a lock on the consumer products market. With the investment, Unilever hopes to increase its stake in Hindustan Unilever from 52.5 percent to 75 percent by offering shareholders a 21 percent premium – an “obscene valuation” according to analysts – over the current price. If completed, the transaction will be Unilever’s biggest since its 2000 purchase of Best Foods Ltd.
Adi Narayan & Matthew Boyle , "Unilever Wagers Billions on India Economic Revival", Bloomberg, May 02, 2013, © Bloomberg L.P.
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