Reliance Brands acquires Hamleys

Details of financial deal not disclosed

MUMBAI: Reliance Brands, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), has acquired the entire stake in Hamleys Global Holdings that owns the famed UK toy brand Hamleys from C Banner International, a company release said.

However, the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 1760, Hamleys is the oldest and largest toy shop in the world with 167 stores across 18 countries. Hamleys opened its flagship Regent Street London store in 1881.

Hamleys was introduced in India by Reliance Brands in 2010, with the first store opening at the High Street Phoenix mall in Mumbai

The acquisition is expected to propel Reliance Brands to a dominant player in the global toy retail industry, the company said in a statement.

“Over the last few years, we have built a very significant and profitable business in toy retailing under the Hamleys brand in India. The 250-year-old English toy retailer pioneered the concept of experimental retailing, decades before the concept of creating unique experiences in brick and mortar retailing became the new norm,” Darshan Mehta, President and CEO of Reliance Brands, said.

“The worldwide acquisition of the iconic Hamleys brand and business places Reliance in the frontline of global retail,” he said, adding personally it is a “long-cherished dream” that came true.

In India, Reliance has the master franchisee for Hamleys and runs 88 stores across 29 cities. The new deal will give RIL a captive market across Asia, Europe and the US as the company is planning to expand its retail business globally.

It will mark the second change in ownership of Hamleys, which was sold to HongKong-based C Banner for 100 million pounds in 2015.

 

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