Reliance Retail to acquire Tamil Nadu-based department store chain
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd, a unit of billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd, has acquired Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu-based Shri Kannan Departmental Store Pvt. Ltd to expand its operations in southern India.

Reliance Industries said in a stock-exchange filing its subsidiary agreed to acquire Shri Kannan for Rs 152.5 crore ($20.81 million at current exchange rates).

The acquisition will help Reliance Retail strengthen its operations in Tamil Nadu and enable new retail and commerce initiatives for the company, it added.

Shri Kannan, which was incorporated in September 1999, sells perishables such as fruits, vegetables and dairy products. It also sells home, personal care and general merchandise. Currently, the chain operates 29 stores across Coimbatore and nearby areas, with cumulative retail area of 6 lakh square feet.

Reliance Retail Ventures is the holding company of Reliance Retail Ltd, which began operations in 2006 and is India’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer. It owns brands such as Reliance Fresh, Reliance Smart and Reliance Digital.

Reliance Retail Ltd emerged as the most valuable retailer in India late last year after parent Reliance Industries proposed a scheme that would allow the unit’s shareholders to exchange their stock for RIL shares. The scheme valued Reliance Retail around about Rs 2.4 trillion ($33.6 billion then).

The acquisition is yet another move by Reliance Industries, which has been snapping up companies across sectors, to establish and solidify its presence in the retail sector.

Some of its more notable acquisitions include British toymaker Hamley’s, which it bought for Rs 620 crore. Another acquisition that Reliance Retail conducted in March last year was that of menswear brand John Player’s from consumer goods company ITC Ltd.

Reliance Industries has also increased its focus on new technologies and digital content since the launch of Jio, its telecom services arm.

In July 2019, Reliance Industries-controlled Haptik Inc., an artificial intelligence-based conversational platform, acqui-hired Los Angeles-based conversational AI startup Convrg Technologies Inc. to expand its business in North America. The acqui-hire transaction came barely months after Reliance, through wholly-owned unit Reliance Jio Digital Services Ltd, acquired an 87% stake in Haptik for a total of $100 million.

In March, Reliance Industries agreed to acquire an 83% majority stake in Mumbai-based hyperlocal delivery platform Grab. Separately, the group said it would also acquire an 82% majority stake in Bengaluru-based software solutions firm C-Square by making a cash investment of Rs 82.04 crore (around $11.56 million then). 

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