Titan signs JV pact with Montblanc for single brand retail

Watches and jewellery maker Titan Company Ltd has inked a joint venture agreement with luxury products maker Montblanc to open single brand retail outlets in the country. Montblanc is known for its writing instruments but has over the years expanded its product portfolio with addition of watches, jewellery fragrance, eyewear and other lifestyle accessories.

Interestingly, the pact comes even as 100 per cent foreign investment is allowed in single brand retail. It is not clear if Titan will hold a minority or majority stake in the venture.

It would mark an extension of Titan’s existing business and would add to its line of products which straddles roughly the same product baskets, barring writing instruments.

For the Tata Group, this would mark yet another such partnership in its group firms. Previously Tata Global Beverages had formed a partnership with Starbucks to open a coffee chain under the iconic brand. The group recently also announced that Tesco is picking a stake in its hypermarket market.

In a stock market disclosure on Wednesday, Titan said it has entered into a joint venture agreement on February 26, 2014 with Montblanc Services B.V, Netherlands for establishing operations in India for carrying on single brand retail trade.

Indian government had allowed foreign firms to own up to 100 per cent stake in single-brand retail ventures in India. Swedish budget furniture chain IKEA was the first to obtain an approval to make investment in May last year.

Also, in December, another Swedish retailer Hennes & Mauritz received final approval from India's Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to invest Rs 720 crore in the country.

Besides this, luxury goods group Richemont has also applied to set up outlets in India.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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