V-Mart Retail Ltd. (V-Mart), the value fashion retailer, has signed definitive agreements to acquire all of the existing running stores of ‘Unlimited’ from Arvind Lifestyle Brands Ltd (ALBL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arvind Fashions Ltd (AFL) for cash consideration.
Unlimited operates a chain of 74 value fashion retail stores across South and West India and retails fashion apparel and accessories for men, women, and children at affordable prices.
As part of the transaction, V-Mart will acquire the assets of all stores, warehouse, inventory as well as the store brand ‘Unlimited’at their book value, with an estimated outlay of about Rs 150 crore at closing, and certain contingent payments based on certain milestones achieved in these stores over next few years, post the acquisition.
Through this development, V-Mart will be debuting in South India and helping customers meet their fashion aspirations through its vast array of quality products at affordable prices. The move also fits well with V-Mart’s cluster-based expansion strategy and dramatically shortens the time span required for geographical expansion of this scale in a new big market.
Commenting on the transaction, Lalit Agarwal, Chairman & Managing Director of V-Mart Retail Ltd, said, "V-Mart is one of the strongest players in northern and eastern India and is a leading value retail player for the masses in the fashion segment, primarily operating in Tier II, III cities. We have always believed in cluster philosophy and as we were not present in southern India and as being the focused value retailer we can strive to do better- this has compelled and motivated us to grab this opportunity. We are proud to bring the ‘Unlimited’ stores within the umbrella of the V-Mart family, which was part of Arvind Fashions. With this acquisition, we will have another 74 stores in our portfolio catering to the fashion needs of families in the southern and western markets of India. At V-Mart, we have been opening around 50 stores every year, and look forward to maintaining this growth trajectory in the times to come."
"Our combined strengths, V-Mart’s expertise in creating a scalable and profitable value fashion retailing business model, and Unlimited’s large presence in South India with strong fashion mindset and delivering a differentiated store experience to customers –provides a long runway for sustained stakeholder value creation and will allow us to gain strategic insights and presence in this very attractive market," he stated.
Lalit further added, "The business had been turned around by Arvind Fashions, and fits well with our strategy of expanding our regional presence as well as adding capabilities in select categories. With this transaction, V-Mart will now operate 356 stores across 25 states with a total area of 30.8 lakh sqft."
Speaking on this divestment, Shailesh Chaturvedi, Chief Executive Officer, Arvind Fashions, said, "We are delighted to find a strong home in V-Mart for Unlimited. We had created a scalable format with significant product capabilities in value retail, which has a large potential. However, in line with our strategy of focusing on our 6 high conviction brands, we decided to exit the business. This would help us put capital behind growing our six focus brands, helping generate significant shareholder value."
The completion of the transaction is subject to necessary approvals and customary closing conditions. Metta Capital acted as an exclusive financial advisor and Saraf and Partners acted as legal advisor to V-Mart for this transaction.