Reliance Brands has signed a definitive agreement to pick a controlling 51% stake in designer brand Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla (AJSK), adding one more iconic Indian designer name to the list of Reliance’s growing shopping list.
Reliance Brands said the investment will happen either directly through itself or by through an affiliate and is aimed at accelerating the growth within India and in the global markets of the 35-year-old couture founded by the designer duo.
“Their couture label Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla is internationally feted for its cutting-edge quality and classically elegant style,” Reliance Brands said in a press statement on Tuesday. “With this new partnership, the brand is committed to championing the incredible Indian artisans and bringing forth their astonishing craftsmanship on the world stage.”
Even though it would acquire controlling stake, Reliance Brands said both Jani and Khosla will continue to spearhead the design and creative direction of the brand.
The fashion house Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla sells three other labels including Asal by Abu Sandeep, a diffusion and occasion wear label; Gulabo by Abu Sandeep, a luxe pret casual and formal wear for women and Mard by Abu Sandeep, a formal and occasion wear men’s label.
Over the years, Reliance Retail has been on a shopping spree snapping companies and brands left, right and centre.
Over the months, Reliance Retail, that in 2020 raised more than Rs 47,000 crore by selling about 10% to a raft of global private equity fund including Silver Lake, KKR, Mubadala, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, GIC, TPG, General Atlantic, has either purchased substantial-to-controlling stakes or formed joint ventures with Indian designers including Abraham & Thakore, Rahul Mishra, Anamika Khanna, Manish Malhotra and Ritu Kumar among other labels.
The buyouts and stake purchases in Indian designers are part of Reliance’s plans to shore up its ethnic labels portfolio to sell them not only to the growing swish Indian consumers but also to take these famed Indian labels global.