Reliance Brands Limited, a subsidiary of the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), and C Banner International Holdings, a Hong Kong-listed company, today signed a definitive agreement for Reliance Brands to acquire 100% shares of Hamleys Global Holdings Limited, the owner of the Hamleys brand, from C Banner International.
"Founded in 1760, Hamleys has over 250 years of celebrated history of being the oldest and largest toy shop in the world and bringing smilies to children all over the world by bringing smiles to children all over the world by bringing toys to life," a press release from Reliance said.
"Hamleys truly represents a unique model leveraging the quality and wide range of its toys, combined with the theatre, entertainment and its retail experience," it said.
Globally, Hamleys has 167 stores across 18 countries. In India, Reliance has the master franchise for Hamleys, and currently operates 88 stores across 29 cities. This acquisition will catapult Reliance Brands to be a dominant player in the global toy retail industry, the release said.
Darshan Mehta, President and CEO of Reliance Brands, said, "Over the last few years, we have built a very significant and profitable business in toy retailing under the Hamleys brand in India. This 250-year-old English toy retailer pioneered the concept of creating unique experiences in brick and mortar retailing became the new global norm. The worldwide acquisition of the iconic Hamleys brand and business places Reliance into the frontline of global retail. Personally, it is a long cherished dream come true."
Hamleys opened its flagship Regent Street London store in 1881. This flagship store is set over seven floors covering 54,000 sq. ft. with more than 50,000 lines of toys on sale. It is considered one of London's prominent tourist attractions, receiving over 5 million visitors each year. Children and teens from all over the world visit the store its year-round events, parades, demonstrations and elaborate displays, the release said.
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