INDIA’S largest retailer has formed a joint venture with Superdry to acquire the struggling British clothing company’s intellectual property assets for three south Asian countries.
Reliance Retail Ventures, through the UK arm of its subsidiary Reliance Brands, signed the £40 million licensing deal which will see the Indian firm own a 76 per cent stake in the joint venture. The Cheltenham-based firm will retain the remaining 24 per cent.
Superdry, which is looking for a turnaround in its fortunes, will get £30.4 million from the deal which analysts feel will help strengthen its balance sheet.
The joint venture entity will acquire Superdry’s intellectual property assets for India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.
Superdry was previously forced to take a one-year £25 million loan from the restructuring specialist Hilco. Trading in the shares of the company was suspended last month, following auditing concerns.
Reliance Brands first introduced the Superdry in India in 2012 after signing a long-term franchise agreement with the UK company.
Superdry founder and chief executive Julian Dunkerton said the existing partnership with Reliance meant his firm would “hit the ground running” in India which offered an “incredible opportunity”.
“Under our new partnership, I am confident that the brand will continue to accelerate and build on our success to date to become a major force in the Indian fashion market,” he said.
Superdry’s offerings include outerwear, T-shirts, and shirts for men and women, alongside shoes and accessories. In 2019, Superdry expanded into sports and activewear under ‘Superdry Sport’.
Reliance Brands, whose portfolio brand partnerships include Armani Exchange, Emporio Armani and Hugo Boss, has also invested in building and operating homegrown designer brands besides acquiring the British toy retailer Hamleys which has a presence in 16 countries.
Last year, Reliance Brands partnered with Pret A Manger to build and launch the British food and coffee chain’s store in India.