DS Group in talks to acquire gourmet food retailer Le Marche

Privately held Dharampal Satyapal Group is in talks to acquire gourmet food retailer Le Marche, according to a report.

The Economic Times, which reported the development, cited Le Marche director Nakul Yadav as saying that the company is in talks with two potential buyers but a deal hasn't been finalised.

Yadav said in the report that the company's prompters were considering whether to sell a part or all the stake.

The two companies didn't immediately respond to email queries from VCCircle.

Le Marche Retail sells staple food, fresh vegetables and fruits, bakery products, meat, poultry, seafood and frozen foods. It has annual revenue of close to Rs 100 crore, the report said.

The company was set up by entrepreneur Naresh Yadav and now plans to focus on its other verticals including hospitality, real estate and luxury salons, the report said.

Le Marche started off in 1989 as a premium bakery Sugar n Spice through a tie-up with the Oberoi group. In 1994, it split with the Oberois to set up its independent bakery in Gurgaon. In 2005, it set up its first Le Marche store. According to information posted on its website, Le Marche and Sugar n Spice together have six flagship stores in the Delhi-NCR region.

For DS Group, the acquisition would mean immediate access to a large retail footprint with a captive premium target consumer base, including expatriates.

Founded in 1929 as a tobacco products maker, DS Group has diversified into spices, dairy, food and beverages, hospitality, infrastructure and agro forestry over the years. However, it still earns 40% of its revenue from chewing tobacco and mouth freshner products. Its brands include Pulse candy, flavoured pan masala Rajnigandha and dairy products Ksheer and Dairymax.

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