Reliance Retail likely to buy out 259-year-old British toymaker Hamleys
Mumbai : 259-year-old British toymaker brand Hamleys may soon end up in Indian hands. Reliance Retail, India's largest retailer, is reportedly in talks to buy out the company.
Moneycontrol news on Wednesday said a number of sources have confirmed the development.
Sticking to its ambition of growing in the international market, the Reliance Retail will be targeting the purchase of store to achieve its goal of growing at 30% every year for a decade.
"Due diligence for the deal is at an advanced stage," said one of the sources cited above, adding, "Reliance Retail is aggressively pursuing the deal."
Hamleys, which began life as ‘Noah’s Ark in London in 1760, counts the royal family of Saudi Arabia among its loyal customers. In recent years, though, it has been struggling due to uncertainty over Brexit and softening UK consumer confidence. It reported a loss of 12 million pounds in 2017 and a 2.5 percent decline in annual revenues to 66.3 million pounds. However, it is still a dominant player in the $11 billion worldwide toy industry even as rivals like Target, Walmart, Amazon and Kohl’s are snapping at its heels.
Moneycontrol sent an email to Reliance Industries to confirm the news, replying to which an official said, "As a policy, we do not comment on media speculation and rumours. Our company evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis. We have made and will continue to make necessary disclosures in compliance with our obligations under SEBI regulations and our agreements with the stock exchanges."
A response is awaited from the Hamleys.
"Hamleys currently has around 50 stores in India, the plan is to ramp it up to 200 over the next three years," said another source familiar with the deal.