Reliance acquires toy maker Hamleys

Reliance Brands Limited (RBL), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries and C Banner International Holdings, has signed a definitive agreement for Reliance Brands to acquire 100% shares of Hamleys Global Holdings Limited for a cash consideration of GBP 67.96 million.

HGHL was incorporated on August 3, 2012 in England and Wales and together with its subsidiaries is a retailer of toys under the world-renowned brand “Hamleys”.Hamleys is more than 250 years old and was founded in the year 1760. It currently has 167 stores across 18 countries. Reliance Lifestyle Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of the Company, runs and operates the Indian franchise of the Hamleys brand and has 88 stores in India. This acquisition will catapult RBL to be a major player in the global toy retail industry.

Darshan Mehta, president and CEO, Reliance Brands, said, “Over the last few years we have built a very significant and profitable business in toy retailing under th Hamleys brand in India. The 250-year old English toy retailer pioneered the concept of experiential retailing, decades before the concept of creating unique experience in brick and motor retailing become the new global norm. The worldwide acquisition of new iconic Hamleys brand and business places Reliance in the frontline of global retail. Personally, it is a long cherished dream come true.”

Currently, RIL retail arm Reliance Retail has the licence to sell Hamleys’ products in India.

Hamleys is the oldest and largest toy shop in the world and one of the world’s best-known retailers of toys. Founded by William Hamley as “Noahs Ark” in High Holborn, London, in 1760, it moved to its current site on Regent Street in 1881. This flagship store is set over seven floors, with more than 50,000 lines of toys on sale. It is considered one of the city’s prominent tourist attractions, receiving around 50 lakh (five million) visitors each year.

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