Reliance Retail, an arm of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), is in talks to buy a controlling stake in Hamleys, the UK-based toymaker.
Presently, Hamleys is owned by Chinese fashion conglomerate C Banner International. It had acquired Hamleys for £100 million in 2015.
The toymaker began with a single-store shop, Noah’s Ark, in 1760. It reported losses of £12 million in 2017, when it last posted its financials.
Reliance Retail already has a pan-India franchise agreement with Hamleys for merchandising its famous toys. If the deal goes through, Reliance Retail is planning to increase the toymaker’s geographic footprint in India.
Globally, Hamleys has around 129 stores, a large majority of which are under the franchise model. Apart from the UK, the brand has a presence in China, Germany, Russia, India, South Africa and the Middle East, among other regions.