Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries has acquired British toy retailer Hamleys for around Rs 620 crore in an all cash deal, the company announced on Thursday. Hamleys is a 259-year-old toy-maker company that has struggled to generate profits in recent times.has acquired British toy retailer Hamleys for around Rs 620 crore in an all cash deal, the company announced on Thursday. Hamleys is a 259-year-old toy-maker company that has struggled to generate profits in recent times.
Hamleys is currently acquired by the Chinese fashion conglomerate C Banner International, which had acquired it for 909 crore in 2015. C Banner also owns the Chinese units of marquee consumer retail brands such as Steve Madden and Sundance.
“Reliance Brands Ltd, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, and C Banner International Holdings, a Hong Kong-listed company, today signed a definitive agreement for Reliance Brands to acquire 100 per cent shares of Hamleys Global Holdings Ltd, the owner of Hamleys brand, from C Banner International,” the company said in a statement.
“Over the last few years, we have built a very significant and profitable business in toy retailing under the Hamleys brand in India. This 259-year-old English toy retailer pioneered the concept of experiential retailing, decades before the concept of creating unique experiences in brick and mortar retailing became the new global norm,” Darshan Mehta, Reliance Brands President and CEO, said.
Hamleys was founded in 1760 and basically it gave everyone a sense of nostalgia. The company has 167 stores across 18 countries, with presence in India as well. Reliance, operates 88 Hamleys stores across 29 Indian cities today.
This marks billionaire Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries’ first acquisition of an overseas retail brand.
Hamleys though is not the only British brand that is owned by an Indian company. There are other brands like Jaguar Land Rover that are owned by Tata Motors. Tata acquired the Jaguar Land Rover for a net consideration of Rs 230 crore on March 26 2008. Tata also own Tetley, a beverage brand known for its tea.