Reliance Industries’ Rs 620 crore buyout of British-origin Hamleys gives it access to the Hamleys’ network of 167 stores in as many as 18 countries.
Hamleys is the oldest and largest toy shop in the world and one of the world’s best-known retailers of toys. Founded by William Hamley as “Noahs Ark”
Hamleys sold to India’s richest man in £70m deal
Why Mukesh Ambani bought Hamleys Toys Shop?
India’s richest man has sealed another deal in his battle with Amazon and Walmart for India’s online retail market, which a Morgan Stanley estimate sees at $200 billion by 2028.
On Thursday, Reliance agreed to purchase the 259-year-old British toy store chain Hamleys from C.Banner International Holdings for $88.5 million in cash in a transaction that will “catapult Reliance Brands to be a dominant player in the global toy retail industry,” said a statement.
The 62-year-old businessman is quietly piecing together a network of partners through stake purchases or outright acquisitions in his push for consumer business, which Ambani says will contribute nearly as much as to the conglomerate’s total earnings as its core energy business by the end of 2028.
A Hamleys in pocket will give Reliance 167 stores across 18 countries. Hamleys gives Reliance Retail a global footprint which the company currently lacks. Despite its huge sales network in India, Reliance Retail so far has no overseas presence.
Ambani is clearly in a hurry and he has the right reason to be so. India will have 829 million smartphone users by 2022, according to Cisco Systems, from a projected half a billion this year. That means a potential surge in demand for online services and products from music to food delivery, electronic gadgets and clothes.
“The worldwide acquisition of the iconic Hamleys brand and business places Reliance into the frontline of global retail,” he said. “Over the last few years, we have built a very significant and profitable business in toy retailing under the Hamleys brand in India.”