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Godrej Advances in Mumbai on Plan to Acquire Argencos

Godrej Consumer Products Ltd., India’s second-biggest maker of bath soap, rose after agreeing to buy Argentine hair-color maker Argencos, the Indian company’s second Latin American purchase in the past two weeks.

The stock gained 3.1 percent to 336 rupees as of 9:17 a.m. in Mumbai, compared with a 1.4 percent gain in the benchmark Sensitive Index. Godrej climbed as much as 10.4 percent earlier.

Godrej Consumer yesterday said it agreed to buy Argencos after saying on May 23 it would purchase Issue Group, which also has businesses in Argentina. The combined sales of the two Argentine companies is more than $45 million, Mumbai-based Godrej Consumer said in a statement yesterday. The equity value of the same assets is $43 million, it said. Issue Group had revenue of $33 million in 2009.

“Argencos is a perfect, complementary add-on to our earlier acquisition of Issue Group,” Godrej Consumer Chairman Adi Godrej said in the statement. “The two companies provide us with a tremendous platform for establishing a strong presence in the fast growing hair color markets in Latin America.”

Godrej Consumer will buy companies in Asia, Africa and Latin America and has permission from its board to raise as much as 30 billion rupees ($644 million) selling debt or shares, Godrej, a billionaire, said in a May 14 interview.

The maker of Cinthol soaps and Renew hair color will invest in emerging markets and probably not in developed countries because its expertise is in “low-cost, value-for-money products,” Godrej has said.

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