Samsonite eyes acquisition of local brands in India

Global luggage products maker Samsonite International is setting its sights on acquisition of local brands in India to boost its profitability and increase market share, the Mint reported, citing a senior executive of the company. The Hong Kong-listed company is in talks with a local luggage maker in the country.

“We are very profitable and are sitting on enough cash; we are looking at local brands for acquisitions in India and other Asian markets. Till last year, we were only looking at global brands, but now we want to focus on local,” the newspaper quoted EP Suresh Menon, CEO at Samsonite South Asia Pvt Ltd, as saying. He, however, did not reveal details about the Indian luggage company Samsonite is in talks with.

The India luggage market, dominated by unorganised segment, is growing at a rapid pace with VIP being the market leader. Samsonite is the second-largest player with a strong market share followed by Safari, a distant third. Safari and VIP are both public listed firms.

Samsonite, which registered net sales of Rs 642 crore in India in calendar year 2013, is aiming to cross Rs 1,000 crore sales mark by 2015, Menon told the paper.

To achieve this target, the company is planning to launch two products – one in the luxury segment and another in a more affordable category – besides adding revenues from the proposed acquisition.

Samsonite had acquired high-end luggage brand Hartmann in 2012 for $35 million and expects to launch the same in India this year. It is looking to launch products in affordable segment between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,500. Also, in 2013, the company launched the High Sierra range of bags and is looking to add Rs 60-70 crore from this brand alone.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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