Britain's most famous toy shop, Hamleys, bought by India’s richest man

Britain's most famous toy shop, Hamleys, bought by India’s richest man

Reliance Brands, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), has signed a definitive agreement with Hong Kong's listed company C Banner International to acquire 100% shares of the British toy retailer Hamleys in £ 68 million.

Historic toy retailer Hamleys has been sold by its Chinese owner to Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries. The company is already a master franchisee of the toy store in India, where it operates 88 outlets.

India's richest man Mukesh Ambani has bought the iconic British toy retailer Hamleys for an undisclosed sum.

Reliance Brands which is a subsidiary of Reliance Company LTD had signed a contract to buy a toy retailer company from China's C banners worldwide. "Some of the big global toy brands are extremely profitable and even on the retailing side so we are quite optimistic", Mehta said. It reported a profit after tax of 2.44 million pounds in 2018 after suffering a loss of 11.24 million pounds in 2017.

For Mukesh Ambani, whose personal net worth is above $50 billion according to Forbes, this is the 27th deal in the last 26 months that is redefining Reliance Industries. It had opened four stores around the United Kingdom, two of which were shut down.

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It has struggled with profitably in recent years, and has changed hands several times in the past decade.

Reliance Brands, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), on Thursday said it is acquiring UK-based toymaker Hamleys from C.banner worldwide.

The company is named after William Hamley, who founded a toy shop called "Noah's Ark" in London, in 1760. Besides the United Kingdom, it has stores in China, Germany, Russia, India, South Africa and West Asia.

Hamleys was delisted from the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in 2003 when it was taken over by Icelandic investment firm Baugur Group for Dollars 68.8 million. "Personally, it is a long-cherished dream come true".

Though the Regent Street store is a beloved tourist attraction, the chain has suffered from the malaise that claimed Toys "R" Us Inc.'s United Kingdom unit in 2018 and afflicts shopping streets around the world.

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