INDIA’S Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is in talks to buy British toy store chain Hamleys, business news website Moneycontrol reported on Wednesday (17) citing multiple sources, as the Indian conglomerate seeks to expand its footprint in the consumer space.
Reliance Retail, the retail arm of billionaire Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries, is “aggressively pursuing the deal”, the website quoted one of the sources as saying.
Due diligence is in advanced stages, the website reported, adding that if the deal went through, Reliance Retail planned to increase the geographic footprint of the 259-year old toy maker in India to about 200 stores over the next three years from around 50 currently.
Reliance Retail currently has the licence to sell Hamleys products in India.
Reliance Industries’ strategy to diversify beyond refining and petrochemicals showed results last quarter, when its fast-growing telecom and retail businesses drove profit to new highs despite its gross refining margins taking a hit amid volatility in oil prices and slowing demand globally.
The group’s retail business saw revenue double to Rs 356 billion in the period, while earnings before interest and taxes more than tripled to Rs 15bn.