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India – Reliance Brands to acquire Ritu Kumar fashion house

Mumbai,
June 2021

Reliance Brands fashion is reportedly set to take over the five-decade-old Ritu Kumar design house established in 1969. Allegedly, Reliance will havea majority stake, which includes acquiring the 30% minority stake held by the private equity firm Everstone Capital, and a larger share of the promoter’s holding. In April 2014, Everstone Capital had picked up a minority stake by investing Rs100cr ($16.6 million) in fashion label Ritu Kumar. None of the parties involved have confirmed the reports as yet. No confirmation or denial has been issued by either Reliance Brands, the Ritu Kumar house of fashion, or Everstone Capital.

Ritu Kumar currently owns four verticals, Label, RI, Aarke and Ritu Kumar Residence. The design house was severly stymied with cash crunch, and has been trying to generate funds to facilitate growth. Reliance Manufacturers, a premium-to-luxury manufacturers operator of Reliance Retail, markets about 4 dozen international premium-to-luxury labels together with Burberry, Bally, Gasoline, Kate Spade, Diesel, Brooks Brothers and Steve Madden amongst different labels. A 2019 acquisition of smaller rival Genesis Luxurious gave Reliance Manufacturers sway over Salvatore Ferragamo, Jimmy Choo, Giorgio Armani, Michael Kors, Paul Smith amongst different famed labels.

A race appears to be on between Reliance brands and Aditya Birla Trend and Retail (ABFRL), where the former wants to dominate the business of luxury retail in India. Recently, ABFRL bought a 51% stake in Indian designer Sabyasachi’s namesake label. In 2019, ABFRL had acquired 51% stake in Finesse Worldwide Design, that runs bespoke attire retail model Shantanu & Nikhil, for ₹60 crore. This  year it partnered with designer Tarun Tahiliani. 

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