Monday, 18 October 2021

Reliance Industries buys global toy retailer Hamleys

MUMBAI: India’s Reliance Industries has acquired British toy retailer Hamleys, the energy-to-telecoms conglomerate said.

Reliance Industries, which runs the world’s biggest single-location crude oil refinery in western India, has been gradually transforming itself into a consumer-facing behemoth through its retail and telecoms ventures.

Through its Reliance Brands subsidiary, the company signed an agreement to buy Hamleys from Hong Kong-listed C Banner International Holdings.

Reliance did not disclose the price, but in 2015, C Banner had bought it for 100 million pounds ($130.2 million) from France’s Groupe Ludendo.

The acquisition marks the first foray of billionaire Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries in an overseas retail brand.

“The worldwide acquisition of the iconic Hamleys brand and business places Reliance into the frontline of global retail,” said Darshan Mehta, chief executive of Reliance Brands.

Reliance Retail has the licence to sell Hamleys products in India.

Founded in 1760, Hamleys resonates with a sense of nostalgia for adults and children alike, with its flagship Regent Street store in Central London recognised around the world.

Hamleys has withstood global recessions, and world war bombings and has changed hands several times, the latest being the 2015 sale by Groupe Ludendo.

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