Reliance Retail Acquires Majority Stake In Designer Ritu Kumar’s Firm

New Delhi:  Isha Ambani-led Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL), the retail arm of Reliance Industries, has acquired a majority stake in iconic Indian fashion designer Ritu Kumar’s company Ritika Private Limited. Though the size of the deal has not been disclosed yet, RRVL has acquired a little more than 52% stake in the company, Mint reported.

RRVL had acquired the 35% stake that Singapore-based private equity firm Everstone held in Ritika Pvt Ltd after investing $16.6 million in the company in 2014. Reliance bought an additional 17% over and above that, Mint reported.

In July 2019, Amrish Kumar, managing director at the fashion house and designer Ritu Kumar’s son, had told Mint that the company was looking to raise money. He had added that Everstone was looking for an exit.

Isha Ambani, Director, RRVL, was quoted as saying that very few countries can match the sophistication, style and originality of design, especially in printing and painting of textiles and weaves, found in India. “We are delighted to partner with Ritu Kumar and together, we want to build a robust platform and customer ecosystem for our native textiles and crafts – both in India and across the world.”

Darshan Mehta, managing director and CEO of Reliance Brands Limited (RBL), said it was Reliance Retail Ventures, which is also the holding company of RBL, that will be acquiring Ritu Kumar and not RBL.

Notably, last week, RBL acquitted 40% stake in designer Manish Malhotra’s brand.

“When Reliance Brands has to acquire more than 50% of any business, it has to happen through RRVL since a fourth-generation subsidiary cannot be created. Which is why the Manish Malhotra investment of 40% happened under the RBL brand.” RRVL also houses brands like Fresh, Smart, Hamley’s, Ajio and 7Eleven, among others. Mehta did not disclose whether RRVL will expand the number of stores for Ritu Kumar.

Ritu Kumar, 76, who started the company in 1969, has set up several new brands across categories. Besides the flagship label Ritu Kumar that sells daily and semi-formal ethnic wear, it launched Ri, a premium bridal and formal wear in 2018, and Label, a more casual contemporary women’s wear brand. An everyday clothing brand Aarké was launched in March this year. The company, with its four fashion labels, has about 151 points of sales in the country and abroad.


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