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Bajaj Corp acquires 'Nomarks' brand from Ozone Ayurvedics for Rs 150 cr

NEW DELHI: Bajaj Corp, consumer goods firm of the Shishir Bajaj group, has acquired Nomarks, the country's second largest anti-marks brand, from Delhi-based Ozone Ayurvedics to make a foray into the skin-care market. 

"The acquisition is a strategic move as it enhances our presence in the personal care market and gives us an entry in to the skin care category," Kushagra Bajaj, chairman of Bajaj Corp, said in a statement. Bajaj and Ozone Ayurvedics promoter SC Sehgal would not comment on the deal size. 

An official involved with the developments said the deal is estimated to be close to Rs 150 crore. The acquisition, Bajaj Corp's first, marks its entry in the Rs 8,500 crore skin-care category which grew 12% in FY2013.
Nomarks has more than 12% share in the country's Rs 342-crore anti-marks and anti-blemish category, which is growing at 27% annually. 

The ayurvedic Nomarks franchise comprises of face wash, facial cream, facial soap, facial scrub and lotion. Nomarks cream, launched 12 years ago, had pioneered the antimarks/anti-blemish category. Over the years, it diversified into segments like soaps and facewashes, but lost out to aggressive players like HUL and L'Oreal in most categories as it could not invest much on distribution and marketing. 

Ozone Group had been in talks to sell Nomarks cream for a over a year but talks remained inconclusive due to differences over valuation. It is speculated that HUL and Dabur had considered buying out the brand. 

The anti-marks cream, which is distributed primarily through chemists, gives 
Bajaj CorpBSE 5.54 % opportunity to leverage its distribution in grocery and cosmetics stores and modern retail. "By leveraging the distribution strength of our company, we expect to take Nomarks directly to six lakh plus retail stores," said Sumit Malhotra, managing director of the maker of hair oil brands such as Almond Drop, Brahmi Amla and Amla Shikakai. 

Bajaj Corp has also acquired the Nomarks trademark from Ozone UK. The trademark is also registered in another eight countries in SAARC, ASEAN and Middle East region. 

"The transaction envisages transfer of Nomarks' brand related businesses inclusive of trademarks and patents," the statement from Bajaj Corp said. 

Nomarks will continue to be manufactured by Ozone Ayurvedics for a year. Sehgal of Ozone said the company will now focus on the Ozone brand and tap its potential in the niche skin-care space. 

The Ozone group operates through three verticals — the FMCG arm, an organics range of plant-based skin-care products used mainly by professionals and a pharmaceutical division. While the FMCG arm's sales are estimated at Rs 55-60 crore, the group's overall sales are close to Rs 150 crore.