The Aditya Birla Group has agreed to acquire the retail hypermarket business of Jubilant Bhartia Group, housed under the Total Superstore brand, in a slump sale deal, as per a stock market disclosure. Financial details of the deal, however, are not disclosed.
Jubilant Agri and Consumer Products Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Jubilant Industries Ltd, signed a business transfer agreement with Aditya Birla Retail, a part of the $40-billion Aditya Birla Group, on May 12 to transfer the retailing business which will include employees, contracts, licences, permits, consents and approvals relating to this undertaking as a 'going concern', it said.
The transaction is expected to be completed within four months subject to necessary approvals, including that of the Competition Commission of India and shareholders.
At present, Total has six hypermarkets in Bangalore and employs over 2,000 people. On the other side, Aditya Birla Retail, the fourth-largest supermarket retailer in the country, has over 500 supermarkets and 16 hypermarkets under the 'More' megastore brand.
Aditya Birla had entered the fashion retail space with the acquisition of Madura Fashion & Lifestyle for Rs 236 crore in 1999. In 2007, it bought Trinethra Super Retail, which brought the retail brands Fabmall, Trinethra and FabCity under AB Retail. Then in 2012, it acquired Pantaloons from rival Kishore Biyani's Future Group. This is the third consolidation announcement in the retail sector within a fortnight.
Recently, Aditya Birla Group merged its apparel businesses into a Rs 5,290-crore entity named Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, which will be the largest pure-play fashion lifestyle company in India.
Also, Kishore Biyani-led Future Group and Bharti Retail entered into a multi-tier all-stock deal worth Rs 750 crore to merge their retail businesses to create a Rs 15,000-crore behemoth. By joining forces, they hope to be better positioned to take on India's top retailer Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Retail as well as other domestic peers and future competitors besides e-commerce firms.
The Jubilant Bhartia Group has a presence in pharma, life sciences and healthcare sectors through its flagship company Jubilant Life Sciences and owns the Dominos pizza chain in India through Jubilant FoodWorks.
Post announcement, shares of Jubilant Industries were trading up 10 per cent at Rs 163.90 a share on BSE in weak Mumbai markets on Tuesday.