Mukesh Ambani's new $88 million toys from Hamleys are the talk of the town

A flag flies outside the Hamleys toy shop in London October 22, 2015. Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett/File Photo
Advertisement
Asia's richest man Mukesh Ambani's company, Reliance Industries, will buy the iconic British toy-maker Hamleys for £67.96 million ($88 million, or ₹620 crore) in an all-cash deal.

This is an interesting addition to Ambani's retail bouquet, which includes the likes of Burberry, Canali, Paul Smith, Armani, Just Cavalli, Jimmy Choo, among many more that Reliance Brands has global partnerships with.

Even before the deal on May 9, Reliance Retail had a pan-India franchise agreement with Hamleys to merchandise its famous toys through 88 outlets in 29 cities.


"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," Mehta said.

Reliance Retail includes Reliance Fresh, Reliance Smart, Reliance Market, Reliance Digital, Jio Stores,Reliance Trends, Project Eve, Reliance Footprint, Reliance Jewels, AJIO and other partner brands.

Globally, however, Hamleys has been struggling. Its current owner, the Chinese fashion major C Banner International, which sells Steve Madden products in China, is cashing out of Hamleys less than five years after it bought the toy maker-- more than 30% below the cost of purchase.

For Mukesh Ambani, whose personal net worth is above $50 billion according to Forbes, this is the 27th deal in the last 26 months that is redefining Reliance Industries. The company has been a predominantly an oil refiner and a petrochemicals major for over a couple of decades. However, in the last few years, Ambani has been in a shopping spree, buying companies from a media production house to a music streaming app, to cable networks to telecom software and hardware units.
Asia's richest man Mukesh Ambani's company, Reliance Industries, will buy the iconic British toy-maker Hamleys for £67.96 million (around $88 million, or ₹620 crore) in an all-cash deal.


This, aside from the mammoth investment in Jio, the country's youngest telecom service provider that has taken the country by storm from the moment it was born.

The rerating of the company, as a technology and consumer play, though on the cards, will be a gradual process that will happen over the next few years, Vinod Sharma, head of capital markets strategy and the private clients group at HDFC Securities told the Economic Times.

SEE ALSO:
15 deals have given Mukesh Ambani’s ₹8.5 trillion Reliance Industries a distinct makeover


{{}}