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Mukesh Ambani eyes the costliest toy in market, save Hamleys from loss

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Mukesh Ambani buys UK toymaker Hamleys.

Hamleys’ flagship store in London.

Reliance Industry Ltd. (RIL) signed a definitive agreement to buy Hamleys. The deal was confirmed for ₹620 crores. This makes Ambani’s brand, finally, an international retailing major.  The chain had 167 stores across 18 countries. 

Mukesh Ambani finally made his long-awaited move to make RIL an international retailing major. Reliance Brands, on Thursday, signed an agreement with C.banner to acquire Hamleys. The deal marked an enormous prize of ₹620 crores. Reliance has acquired 100% stake of the in loss chain. 

The 260-year-old British Toymaking company was previously acquired by C.banner at £100-million in 2015.

Darshan Mehta, President and CEO of Reliance Brands, said that this worldwide acquisition will put Reliance on the frontline of global retail.

This wasn’t the first deal that Ambani had made in the UK. Recently, Reliance had made an acquisition of 5.56% stake in Vakt Holdings.

Read More: Reliance acquires 5.56% stake in Vakt Holdings.

Mukesh Ambani, CEO: RIL.

Mukesh Ambani, CEO of RIL. 

Mukesh Ambani saves the dying toystore

In 2012, Hamleys was sold at $78.4 million by France’s Groupe Ludendo. The company reported a loss of £12 million in 2017 when it last reported its financial status. The profits downed by 500%, as the then CEO, Ralph Cunningham blamed Brexit, macroeconomics and even terrorist attacks for the loss pattern.

With the recent acquisition, Reliance is planning to expand the geographic span of the toy-chain in India.

Personally, its a long-cherished dream come true,

– Darshan Mehta (CEO, Reliance Brands)

Hamleys is reported to have 167 stores spanning across 18 countries. It had started with a single-store shop, Noah’s Ark, in 1760. After that, the company decided to open its flagship Regent St. store in London, in 1881. This store is now set over 7 floors with 54,000 sq ft area, with over 50,000 toys on sale. This historic store has been the centre of tourist attraction in London, with over 5 million visitors every year.

In India, Reliance Retail has the master franchise of the Hamleys. It operates 88 stores in over 29 different cities across the country.

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