Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd owned by country's richest man Mukesh Ambani has acquired iconic toymaker Hamleys Global Holdings, the British firm for $88.5 million (621 crore). The deal will see Reliance take over all the stores of the firm across the globe.
Notably, Reliance runs 88 Hamleys stores across 29 Indian cities. With the deal, Reliance has expanded its reach to industries like retail, media, and telecom apart from running the main business of refining and petrochemicals businesses.
The deal has been closed through Reliance Brands, the brand licensing arm of unit Reliance Retail Ltd. Reliance Brands CEO and president Darshan Mehta commenting on the deal through a statement said, “Over the last few years, we have built a very significant and profitable business in toy retailing under the Hamleys brand in India. This 250-year-old English toy retailer pioneered the concept of experiential retailing, decades before the concept of creating unique experiences in brick and mortar retailing became the new global norm.”
Hamleys was founded in 1760 and is the world's oldest toy company with more than 167 stores across the globe. Notably, Hamleys had reported a loss of around $10 million last year citing Brexit and terrorism threats among the reasons.
Interestingly, Reliance has been on a shopping spree in recent times, acquiring a number of companies from sectors ranging from retail, media, and broadcasting, digital services and technology sectors. It will be interesting to see if the Indian giant can change the fortunes of the loss-making company.