Wipro Ltd. announced on Monday that it had sold its vanaspati brand, ‘Sunflower’, to food multinational Cargill. A joint statement issued by the companies clarified that the “scope of the acquisition” defined in the agreement is limited to the product brand alone.

The divestment marks the sale of the only food-related brand in Wipro’s portfolio. Anil Chugh, Senior Vice President, Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting division, told The Hindu that the definitive agreement that was signed would take effect immediately. “The transition period may last about a week because it is only a brand that has changed hands,” he explained.

Mr. Chugh refused to provide any details about the value of the transaction. “Both parties have decided that this is confidential, given the sensitive nature of the transaction,” he said. However, he pointed out that the vanaspati business contributed about one per cent of the division’s business, which in the last quarter amounted to Rs.1,000 crore. “This was a very small part of our overall business,” he said.  

Company strategy

Mr. Chugh said that the divestment was in line with the company’s strategy of “continuously assessing” its portfolio of businesses. “We have identified our core market segments to be personal care, skin care, wellness and lighting. In line with our strategy, we are divesting the Sunflower Vanaspati business,” he added.

“We believe Cargill, which already has a strong presence in Western India, and which is focused on vegetable oils, would take the brand to even greater heights,” he said. He confirmed that the deal signifies the company’s complete withdrawal from food-related businesses. Wipro would absorb all employees working in the business into the consumer care business, Mr. Chugh said.

“Acquiring Sunflower vanaspati underscores Cargill's long-term commitment to growing our consumer food business in India,” said Siraj Chaudhry, Chairman, Cargill India.

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