Reliance Brands may acquire these brands and add to its offerings in its O2O foray expected to be launched around this Diwali.

Reliance scouts for more retail acquisitions abroad
Atom M&A Saturday, September 07, 2019 - 13:52

Reliance Brands, part of the country’s largest private sector conglomerate Reliance Industries, plans to expand its presence in the consumer products segment. The company has already tie-ups and agreements with many international brands and is now reported to be scouting for more brands for acquisition in categories where they feel they are not very strong now. These could include fashion and child-focused brands with retail play. Reliance Brands may acquire these brands and add to its offerings in its O2O foray expected to be launched around this Diwali.

Reliance has a strong retail presence across categories like electronics, fashion and footwear. There are 40 foreign brands in its portfolio; Burberry, Steve Madden and Iconix are some of them. There are 788 outlets under this umbrella. Reliance is either the franchisee for these brands in the Indian market or have joint ventures. It acquired the popular toy retailer Hamleys some months back investing $88.5 million. Reliance Brands is looking to capitalise on a global slump in brick & mortar retail business following the online retailers offering the same or similar products at half the prices. These retailers are their prime target for acquisition as long as they see long-term value addition to their own plans.

Sports, wellness and fitness products, and women’s and men’s beauty products are some of the categories that they would be keen to take a closer look.

Reliance Industries is a very large business empire that has a top-line of $87 billion as reported for the last financial year ending March 31, 2019. Though the figures for the consumer facing businesses in terms of the turnover and profitability are not available, this is a very recent trend seen in the company. Till some years back, Reliance’s business model revolved around the B2B model with petrochemicals being its mainstay. Oil refining and marketing still contributes to the company’s turnover and profits, to a large extent.

The retail foray Reliance Fresh launched some years ago followed by the other retail ventures has probably given the company enough learnings to take on the challenge.

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