Aditya Birla Fashion to acquire 51% in Indian luxury designer label Sabyasachi for $54.5 m

Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd (ABFRL) on Wednesday signed a definitive agreement to acquire 51% stake in Indian luxury designer label Sabyasachi, a brand owned by Sabyasachi Mukherjee, the Mumbai-based retailer said.

The company will infuse 398 crore for 51% interest in the label run by Sabyasachi Couture, a partnership firm, engaged in the business of manufacturing, distribution and sale of designer apparel, jewellery and accessories under its own brand ‘Sabyasachi’, it said in a filing to the stock exchanges.

Sabyasachi Couture was incorporated in 1990. In FY20, it had a revenue of 274 crore.

The Sabyasachi brand has strong Indian roots and global appeal, ABFRL said. It enjoys a strong franchise in India, the US, the UK and West Asia. The ABFRL platform will complement brand Sabyasachi on its journey to becoming a global luxury house out of India, it said.

Sabyasachi will be ABFRL’s third investment in an Indian ethnic wear brand since mid-2019. In July 2019, the company announced a partnership with leading fashion designers Shantanu & Nikhil with the acquisition of a 51% stake in Finesse International Design Pvt. Ltd, their company that makes bespoke apparel for men and women under the brand name Shantanu & Nikhil.

In June 2019, ABFRL — which retails brands such as Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, and Peter England —acquired ethnic apparel and lifestyle retailer Jaypore for 110 crore. The deal was intended to help ABFRL tap the fast-growing ethnic apparel market.

The stake in Sabyasachi will add weight to ABFRL’s growing ethnic wear portfolio. It will accelerate the company’s strategy to capture a large share of the ethnic wear market through a comprehensive and attractive portfolio of brands, across key consumer segments, usage occasions and geographies, ABFRL said.

ABFRL expects to build a large ethnic wear business over the next few years to complement its strong and diverse portfolio in the western wear segment of the Indian apparel market.

“We believe that over the next few years, ethnic wear is going to be an increasingly important category as young and confident Indians rediscover their culture and heritage. The Sabyasachi brand, through its emphasis on excellence in design and craftsmanship, has set new benchmarks and captivated the imagination of the sophisticated global Indian consumer… Over the next few years, ABFRL intends to craft a portfolio that addresses the entire gamut of ethnic wear segments: value, premium and luxury,” ABFRL managing director Ashish Dikshit said.

The proposed acquisition is subject to statutory approvals.

ABFRL is part of the Aditya Birla Group. It is a pure-play fashion house with a network of 3,025 stores and a revenue of 8,788 crore in FY19-20.

The article was first published on livemint.com.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.