The multinational Reliance industries limited owned and controlled by Mukesh Ambani recently acquired British toy retailer Hamleys.
From past decades Reliance industries is gradually targeting itself into a consumer-facing whopper through retail and telecoms venture. The company made a deal to buy Hamleys from Hong Kong-listed C Banner International Holdings. Previously the C banner had bought Hamleys for 100 million pounds in 2015 from France’s Group Ludendo. It is estimated that Reliance industries limited had brought it for 620 crores Indian Rupees. The acquisition is marked as the first foray of Mukesh Ambani in a foreign retail brand.
“The worldwide acquisition of the iconic Hamleys brand and business places Reliance into the frontline of global retail,” said Darshan Mehta, chief executive of Reliance Brands.
A serious challenge to big online brands like Amazon, Walmart-Flipkart possessed by Reliance Retail as they are going with omnichannel presence and it may be separately listed in 2019 said by Deven Choskey.
Hamleys was founded in 1760, with a sense of nostalgia for adults and children, launched a street store in Central London recognised all around the world. From past to present Hamleys has withstood world recessions, world war and has changed hands several times from sale 2015 to Groupe Ludendo to Reliance Industries Limited.
There are about 167 stores across 18 countries, where the majority are in India. About 88 Hamleys stores across 29 cities are in India owned by Reliance Industries.
Reliance is a leading telecoms player, the company focusing on a major retail onslaught to join its traditional outlets with an online foray aimed at taking big rivals on Amazon and Walmart in India.
The fast-growing telecoms and retail operations along with conglomerate strategy brought profit to record highs despite taking hit from slow global demand and oil price volatility. It is estimated that the company revenue doubled to 356 billion rupees in the three months to Dec, 31.