Reliance Brands buys 12.5% stake in designer Raghavendra Rathore’s firm

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd has purchased a 12.5% stake in a company set up by fashion designer Raghavendra Rathore, according to a report in VCCircle.

Reliance Brands Ltd bought the stake in Future101 Design Pvt. Ltd for Rs 9.5 crore ($1.4 million), the energy-to-retail conglomerate said in a stock-exchange filing

Future101, incorporated in July 2013, makes and sells luxury apparel in India. It belongs to a similar industry as Reliance Brands. “We expect growth in this sector and value creation from this investment,” Reliance said.

Earlier, an ET report stated that the Reliance Brands have contacted half a dozen Indian designers for a potential stake in their businesses. As per the report, Reliance Brands have reached out to Raghavendra Rathore, Rajesh Pratap Singh among other designers to explore the possibility of investing in their businesses.

Future101 reported an annual turnover of Rs 22.18 crore for 2017-18, up from Rs 20.85 crore for 2016-17 and Rs 17.11 crore the year before.

This is the second strategic investment by Reliance Brands within a month.

Reliance Industries Ltd has acquired Rhea Retail Pvt. Ltd, for Rs 203.46 crore or $30 million in cash in June. Rhea, which sells products for children and expectant mothers, was incorporated in April 2007. Its revenue for the year through March 2018 was Rs 200 crore, the same as the previous year. For 2015-16, however, its revenue was Rs 175 crore.

Reliance Brands is the brand licensing arm of Reliance Industries’ retail unit, Reliance Retail Ltd, the country’s biggest brick-and-mortar retailer.

Reliance Brands has a portfolio of over 40 international brands that span across the luxury, bridge-to-luxury, high-premium and high-street lifestyle segments. These brands include Gas, Diesel, Marks & Spencer and Steve Madden.

In September last year, Reliance bought L Catterton Asia’s 40% stake in Genesis Luxury. It had also inked a deal in June last year with Italian brand Valentino to bring the brand to India.

Reliance Brands began operations in October 2007 with a mandate to launch and build international and domestic brand equity in the premium to luxury segment across apparel, footwear and lifestyle business. Its current portfolio of brand partnerships comprises of Brooks Brothers, Dc, Diesel, Dune, Ermenegildo Zegna, Gas, Hamleys, Hunkemoller, Iconix, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Kenneth Cole, Muji, Paul & Shark, Quiksilver, Reiss, Roxy, Steve Madden, Superdry, Scotch & Soda and Thomas Pink among others.

Reliance Brands posted a net loss of Rs 4.85 crore on revenue of almost Rs 318 crore for 2017-18, according to the annual report of Reliance Industries.

Apart from fashion and lifestyle, Reliance Retail operates in grocery, consumer electronics, and fuel retail segments.

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