Companies

PZ Cussons sells Ushindi soap to Pwani Oil for Sh107m

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Pwani Oil commercial director Rajul Malde. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NMG

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Summary

  • Mombasa based, Pwani Oil, has acquired Ushindi soap brand from consumer goods firm PZ Cussons for Sh107 million.
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) on Friday said it had approved the deal, underlining the trend where multinational consumer firms have been selling their products to home grown rivals.
  • Pwani Commercial director Rajul Malde told the Business Daily the firm will, following the purchase, now upscale the production and distribution of Ushindi line of products which includes bar soaps and laundry detergents.

Mombasa based, Pwani Oil, has acquired Ushindi soap brand from consumer goods firm PZ Cussons for Sh107 million.

The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) on Friday said it had approved the deal, underlining the trend where multinational consumer firms have been selling their products to home grown rivals.

Pwani Commercial director Rajul Malde told the Business Daily the firm will, following the purchase, now upscale the production and distribution of Ushindi line of products which includes bar soaps and laundry detergents.

He said the deal is worth a $1 million (Sh107 million) and involves purchase of the Ushindi brand only and machines that manufacture the product.

“We will boost the Ushindi product portfolio and improve its distribution and availability across the country,” Mr Malde said.

PZ Cussons owns personal care brands like Imperial Leather brands, Carex, Cussons Baby, Flamingo, Venus as well as home care range that include morning fresh.

The firm is a public listed company on the London Stock Exchange and has been doing business in Africa for more than a century.

Multinational firms like Reckitt & Benkiser, Procter & Gamble, Bridgestone (makers of Firestone tyres), Colgate Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, and Unilever have recently either relocated or restructured their operations.

Colgate Palmolive ceased manufacturing in Kenya in 2006 and tendered out its plant after a review of its marketing and distribution operations.

The global home and personal care giant Reckitt Benckiser closed its manufacturing operations in 2007 and contracted Orbit Chemical Industries Ltd to produce its household brands such as Jik, Dettol, and Harpic.

In 2002, Unilever sold its flagship brand Kimbo to Bidco.

Pwani Oil, the maker of Fresh Fri cooking oil, also owns a range of skincare and soaps like Sawa, Diva Glycerine and Detrex.

Mr Ramesh Kanji Malde together with his brothers, Anil and Naresh Malde, began Pwani Oil Company production of coconut oil in Mombasa.

The operations expanded at the Jomvu Pwani Oil Products factory with corn and sunflower manufacturing before settling for palm oil refining in 1985–a site which Pwani Oil Product are still located at till today.

Toilet soap makers in Kenya have recently stepped up the battle for control of the local market with increasing consumer choices and lowering of prices.