Future Ventures buys Big Apple convenience store chain for $11.3M

Investment and business management company Future Ventures India Ltd has struck a deal to buy the convenience store chain Big Apple, which is part of Express Retail Services Pvt Ltd, for Rs 61.35 crore ($11.3 million). This is the second back-to-back transaction after the public-listed firm disclosed that it was buying the convenience store chain under Pantaloon Retail (which is under the banner of KB’s FairPrice) through an arm Future Consumer.

Big Apple retails food and groceries in Delhi-NCR. The 65-store chain, operational for around six years, is expected to generate revenues of Rs 120 crore during 2012-13. Express Retail Services is a debt-free company.

The move will consolidate all convenience store chain business of Future Group under Future Ventures, leaving the hypermarket and the food store chain under Big Bazaar and Food Bazaar, respectively, among other retail formats under Pantaloon Retail.

Pantaloon Retail had transferred its value retail format business to its wholly owned subsidiary Future Value Retail two years ago.

Earlier, separate media reports stated that Future Value Retail was in talks to sell stake in KB’s FairPrice and one of the names doing the rounds was Japan’s Lawson, a part of Mitsubishi Corp.

This proposed deal, however, came unstuck and as per The Economic Times report, the deal, which was tied to prior sale of strategic stake in sourcing and manufacturing business, had been called off.

KB’s FairPrice operates a chain of over 180 convenience stores across Delhi, Maharashtra and Karnataka. A separate news report said the group would rebrand Big Apple stores to KB’s FairPrice.

Future Ventures, a public-listed investment-cum-operational firm, has stakes in various privately held firms of the Future Group, as well as in other firms. Last week, it acquired the salon and wellness centre business from Pantaloon Retail India Ltd that operates the business under the brand Star & Sitara.

In June this year, the firm invested an undisclosed amount in another subsidiary called Indus-League Clothing Ltd.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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