Company Briefs: Reliance Industries

Reliance Industries

Reliance Industries is in talks to buy British toy store chain Hamleys, business news website Moneycontrol reported yesterday, citing multiple sources, as the Indian conglomerate seeks to expand its footprint in the consumer space.

Reliance Retail - the retail arm of Reliance Industries, which is owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani - is "aggressively pursuing the deal", the website quoted one source as saying.

Due diligence is in advanced stages, the website reported, adding that if the deal went through, Reliance Retail planned to increase the geographical footprint of the 259-year-old toymaker to about 200 stores in India over the next three years, up from around 50 currently.

Reliance Retail currently holds the licence to sell Hamleys products in India.

Sky News reported in October last year that Chinese fashion retailer C.banner International Holdings, which bought Hamleys for £100 million (S$176.5 million) in cash in 2015, was looking to sell it after logging heavy losses.

Reliance Industries declined to comment on media speculation and rumours, while Hamleys and C.banner did not immediately respond to requests for comment. REUTERS

Nippon Paint Holdings

Nippon Paint Holdings has agreed to buy Australia's DuluxGroup for A$3.8 billion (S$3.7 billion) in cash. The move will give it access to the country's top sales channel for paints and coatings, as well as sealants, adhesives, garage doors, cabinets and architectural hardware.

The offer by Japan's biggest paintmaker to pay A$9.80 for each Dulux share represents a 28 per cent premium, the companies said in a statement yesterday.

It is the biggest acquisition yet by Nippon Paint, which is looking to buy global rivals to keep pace with consolidation in a US$140 billion (S$189.4 billion) global industry, where the top 10 suppliers account for more than half of sales worldwide. Although Dulux is Australia and New Zealand's top paint and coatings company, it ranks 22nd in the world, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Dulux shares shot up to near its offer price in Sydney trading, while Nippon Paint fell 3.6 per cent in Tokyo. Dulux will retain its name and leadership team, which will operate as a division of Nippon Paint as the Japanese company adds Australia and New Zealand to its existing operations in Asia, Europe and the United States, the companies said.

Dulux had sales of A$1.84 billion in the year ended Sept 30, 2018.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 18, 2019, with the headline 'Company Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe