Retail News from India: Reliance retail and ABFRL’s new acquisitions


January 20, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau

Reliance Retail, one of the largest retailers in India, has acquired a 54 per cent stake in Addverb Technologies for nearly Rs10 billion (about $132 million). Sangeet Kumar, co-founder and CEO, Addverb Technologies, told the media that the company, which will continue to operate independently, plans to expand its overseas business. “At present, 80 per cent of our revenue comes from India but this mix is expected to change to 50-50 between India and overseas business in the next 4-5 years,” said Kumar. “Our revenues from software contribute 15 per cent of the total, which is expected to grow significantly.”Over the next five years, it plans to emerge as a billion-dollar company.

“We do everything in India (design and manufacture) and deliver across the world,” said the entrepreneur. The company has subsidiaries in Singapore, the Netherlands, the US and Australia. While it will continue manufacturing in India, the subsidiaries will help it in designing new robots. A month earlier, Reliance Retail acquired a 52 per cent stake in Ritika Pvt Ltd, one of India’s oldest fashion brands, owned by couturier Ritu Kumar, for an undisclosed sum. The company also acquired a 40 per cent minority stake in Manish Malhotra’s MM Styles.

Meanwhile another big retail conglomerate from India, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd (ABFRL) announced it will acquire a 51 per cent majority shareholding in popular and contemporary brand ‘Masaba’ promoted by the leading designer Masaba Gupta for INR 90 crore. The Aditya Birla Group has entered into a ‘binding term sheet’ agreement to acquire a 51 per cent stake in ‘House of Masaba Lifestyle Pvt Ltd’, a move which will strengthen its play into fashion for young and digitally native consumers.This will also help ABFRL to foray into branded beauty and personal care segment, which offers tremendous opportunities to build distinctive, scalable home-grown brands.

ABFRL has plans to scale Brand Masaba through direct-to-consumer (D2C) channels in the segment, which is rapidly growing driven by an increase in women shoppers, a rise in disposable incomes and acceleration in digital influence. “Brand Masaba will be scaled predominantly through the digital direct-to-consumer (D2C) channel, leveraging its strong connect with younger and digitally influenced consumers,” according to a joint statement.The brand will straddle across the entire lifestyle offerings ranging from apparel, accessories, beauty and other lifestyle products. “The brand is targeting to achieve annual revenues of around Rs 500 crore in the next five years,” it said.

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