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Mukesh Ambani-led RIL acquires British toy retailer Hamleys

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Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries Limited, Hamleys, Retail industry, British toy company, C Banner International, Reliance Brands, Business news

Mumbai: In a bid to become a dominant player in the global toy retail industry, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) on Thursday announced it has acquired iconic British toy retailer Hamleys from Chinese firm C Banner International for an undisclosed sum.

Of late, the toy company has struggled financially due to uncertainties owing to Brexit and economic slowdown in the UK.

 

Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries Limited, Hamleys, Retail industry, British toy company, C Banner International, Reliance Brands, Business news

 

Reliance Brands, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, has signed a definitive agreement with Hong Kong-listed firm C Banner International, to acquire 100 per cent shares of Hamleys, the company said in a statement.

The deal will give the Indian acquirer complete control of Hamleys retail operations spread over 167 stores across 18 countries. Reliance, which already has the master franchise for Hamleys in India, will also get to own 88 stores across 29 cities that is currently operates.

 

Reliance Industries acquires British global toy company Hamleys:

 

The company is named after William Hamley, who founded a toy shop called ‘Noah’s Ark’ in London, in 1760. Ownership of the shop passed through the family and by 1837 when Hamley’s grandsons operated the store, it had become famous. People belonging to the royalty and nobility were among its customers.

 

Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries Limited, Hamleys, Retail industry, British toy company, C Banner International, Reliance Brands, Business news

 

“We have built a very significant and profitable business in toy retailing under the Hamleys brand in India. This worldwide acquisition places Reliance in the frontline of global retail,” said Darshan Mehta, President and CEO of Reliance Brands.

C Banner International acquired Hamleys in 2015 in a 100 million pound deal.

 

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Zomato acquires UberEats India for nearly Rs 2,500 crore

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New Delhi: Zomato on Tuesday announced that it has acquired Uber’s Food Delivery Business in India in an all-stock deal and Uber will have 9.99 per cent stake in the Deepinder Goyal-led food delivery platform.

According to sources close to the deal, it is in the range of over $350 million or nearly Rs 2,500 crore.

Uber Eats in India will discontinue operations and direct restaurants, delivery partners, and users of the Uber Eats apps to the Zomato platform, effective from Tuesday.

“We are proud to have pioneered restaurant discovery and to have created a leading food delivery business across more than 500 cities in India. This acquisition significantly strengthens our position in the category,” said Goyal, Founder and CEO, Zomato.

According to company sources, for the first three quarters of 2019, “our Uber Eats business comprised 3 per cent of our global Eats gross bookings, but was more than 25 per cent of our global Eats Segment Adjusted EBITDA losses”.

Uber started its food delivery service in India around mid-2017, but has not been able to scale up in the face of big players like Zomato and Swiggy.

It currently has nearly 26,000 restuarants listed on its platform from over 40 cities.

The market is piping hot as according to a recent study by business consultancy firm Market Research Future, the online food ordering market in India is likely to grow at over 16 per cent annually to touch $17.02 billion by 2023.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that the Uber Eats team in India has achieved an incredible amount over the last two years.

“India remains an exceptionally important market to Uber and we will continue to invest in growing our local Rides business, which is already the clear category leader,” said Khosrowshahi.

“We have been very impressed by Zomato’s ability to grow rapidly in a capital-efficient manner and we wish them continued success,” he added.

On January 10, Zomato had announced that it has secured $150 million in fresh funding from Ant Financial, a subsidiary of China-based giant Alibaba.

The latest round of funding in Zomato, which currently value the company at $3 billion, is part of $600 million funding round announced by Zomato CEO Goyal at a Delhi event last December.

The deal comes in the wake of merger talks between Zomato and Swiggy, whoch both the companies have denied to date.

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