Reliance Brands takes 40% stake in Manish Malhotra
Indian retail giant Reliance Brands Ltd (RBL) and designer Manish Malhotra have announced a strategic partnership to acquire a 40 percent stake in Malhotra's MM Styles Private Limited.
The investment is expected to drive the brand's positioning and accelerate the 16-year-old luxury brand's growth plans in India and across the globe, notably in the U.S., UK and Middle East regions. While expanding its physical presence in the form of retail stores and experimenting with pop-up shops, the two entities will equally work together to lead the designer's e-commerce expansion.
The designer currently operates four flagship stores in Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad, two store-in-store, and a virtual store. It also has over 12 million social followers across various channels. The move represents the first external investment for Malhotra's brand which until now was privately owned by him.
"Our strategic partnership with Manish Malhotra is anchored on our immense respect for his craft and our deep commitment to Indian art and culture,” said Isha Ambani, director, Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd.
“Being an entrepreneur, Manish the man behind the brand, has always been nimble and ahead of his times. Recognition and appreciation for Indian couture is at an inflexion point globally and we are excited to partner in this journey with Manish.”
The brand, founded in 2015 and recognized for high-octane glamour and Indian craftsmanship, will continue to be led by Malhotra, managing and creative director of the brand. As part of the RBL portfolio of brands it joins Burberry, Diesel, Versace and Tory Burch, to name a few. RBL previously invested in Indian brand Raghavendra Rathore in 2018.
"As the brand (Reliance) aims for international expansion, business diversification, and renewed creative growth, there could have been no better strategic partner to accompany us on this journey," Malhotra said, in a news statement.
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