Diversified firm Wipro Ltd on Thursday said it will acquire personal care brand Yardley for $45.5 million (about Rs 214 crore).

The company has signed an agreement with UK-based Lornamead Group, which owns the Yardley brand, for its business in Asia, the Middle East, Australia and certain African markets, Wipro said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Yardley is a global brand in personal care category offering fragrance, body wash and skin care products.

“This transaction adds a strong brand to our portfolio of personal care products. It fits into our strategy of increasing sales and brand presence in the Middle East,” Wipro President, Consumer Care and Lighting, Vineet Agrawal said.

The transaction is expected to complete by mid-December 2009, it said.

“Our understanding of Indian markets will also help to expand Yardley across this region,” Mr. Agrawal added.

Lornamead would, however, retain the Yardley business in Europe and America, the filing added.

“We will continue to invest in Yardley in Europe and America in particular through category expansion and new product development in these core markets where we see considerable growth opportunities,” Lornamead Chief Executive Mike Jatania said.

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