Unilever in India: Managing Brand Extensions

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTA022
Case Length : 18 Pages
Period : -
Pub Date : 2005
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : -
Industry : -
Countries : -

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Background Note Contd...

In 1930, the company merged with 'Margarine Unie' (a Netherlands based company which exported vanaspati to India), to form Unilever. In 1931, Unilever set up its first Indian subsidiary, the Hindustan Vanaspati Manufacturing Company for producing vanaspati. This was followed by the establishment of Lever Brothers India Ltd. in 1933 and United Traders Ltd. in 1935, for the distribution of personal products. In November 1956, the three Indian subsidiaries merged to form HLL. In the 1990s, HLL expanded its operations through mergers and acquisitions. In April 1993, the company acquired its largest competitor, Tata Oil Mills Company (TOMCO), the biggest such deal in Indian industry till that time.

HLL formed a 50:50 joint venture with another Tata company, Lakme Ltd in 1995. The venture named 'Lakme Lever Ltd.' marketed Lakme's leading cosmetics and other associated products.

(Subsequently in 1998, Lakme sold its products to HLL and divested its 50% stake in the venture). In January 1996, HLL absorbed a group company Brooke Bond Lipton India Ltd2 (BBLIL) in January1996, followed by another group company, Pond's India Ltd in January 19983.

By the late 1990s, the integration of the different Unilever entities operating in India, had been largely completed. Till the mid-1990s, bulk of HLL's growth had come through acquisitions. Realising that many of the growth opportunities had been exhausted, Chairman Keki Dadiseth launched Project Millennium in the late 1990s. In 1999, around the time Banga took charge, signs of slower growth were evident...

 Excerpts >>

2] Unilever had acquired Lipton in 1972, Lipton Tea (India) Ltd. was incorporated in 1977. Brooke Bond had joined the Unilever fold in 1984 through an international acquisition. Brooke Bond and Lipton India merged in July 1993 to form BBLIL. Prior to that TEI & DDI, two tea plantation companies had been merged with Brooke Bond.
3] Pond's India Ltd. had been present in India since 1947. It became an HLL group company when Unilever acquired Chesebrough Pond's USA in 1986.


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