Darling Parent Company acquired by Hair Manufacturing Kenya Limited

Darling Parent Company acquired by Hair Manufacturing Kenya Limited

The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has conditionally approved Hair Manufacturing Kenya Limited's acquisition of certain assets from Style Industries Limited. The approval is on condition that Hair Manufacturing retain at least 70% of Style Industries' employees for 12 months after the deal closes, on terms no less favorable than their current ones.

Style Industries acquisition by Hair Manufacturing Kenya Limited

Style Industries manufactures and distributes hair products like braids, weaves, and wigs under the commonly known brand in Kenya Darling.

Hair Manufacturing will in the deal acquire Style Industries' plant, machinery, office equipment, and inventory. 

CAK found the deal unlikely to harm competition in Kenya's hair extensions and wigs market, which has many local manufacturers and importers. However, it raised public interest concerns around potential job losses. Style Industries currently employs 2,171 people. 

Job Losses

CAK found that without the acquisition, the financially struggling Style Industries would likely exit the market, resulting in massive job losses. However, the approved deal still allows for up to 30% job cuts (652 jobs).

"The structure and concentration of the hair extensions and wigs market will not change, as Style Industries will exit and be replaced by Hair Manufacturing," CAK stated. It noted Hair Manufacturing will face competition from rivals controlling 95% of the market.

The decision allows the deal to proceed while aiming to protect workers' livelihoods during the transition. CAK emphasized that the merger approval does not exempt parties from other legal and regulatory requirements, especially around employment.

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