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CCI approves Flipkart’s acquisition of ABFRL minority stakes

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22 January: Flipkart Investments Private Limited had requested purchase of a minority stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited which was approved by the Competition Commission of India. FIPL proposed the acquisition of 7.8% equity shares of the public limited company ABFRL.

The proposal was drafted in October 2020 which mentions that by way of subscription of equity shares, FIPL is to invest a total of Rs. 1,500 crore for minority shareholding of 7.8%, on a fully diluted basis in ABFRL.

Sharing their take of the website, ABFRL said, “In addition to approval of shareholders by way of Postal Ballot (received on November 22, 2020), the issue was subject to regulatory approvals and completion of customary closing conditions under the Investment Agreement. In this regard, we wish to inform you that CCI has accorded its approval to Flipkart for its proposed acquisition of 7.8 per cent equity stake in the company on a fully diluted basis vide its approval letter dated January 20, 2021.”

Also read: Jewellery brand Melorra allocates $50 million for its offline foray, aims at launching 350 stores

Flipkart Investments Private Limited is a newly incorporated company and a subsidiary, wholly owned by Flipkart Private Limited.

ABFRL is a part of Aditya Birla conglomerate and is a public limited company incorporated in India. The company is involved in manufacturing and retailing of branded apparels, accessories, and footwear. The services are provided through their retail stores across India. Other than this, they have multi-brand outlets, departmental stores, e-commerce platforms as well.

Fashion

Timex Group brand Helix launches its first smartwatches ‘Helix Smart’ in India

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Helix smartwatches, March 03: Helix that is a Timex Group brand has recently launched its first smartwatch in India titled Helix Smart. This addition aims for Timex to further strengthen its presence in the smartwatch segment.

With Helix smartwatches, Timex is observing the millenials to witness their newly launched product and drive growth for their segment. Timex also expects strong sales for the segment given the affordable price range of the product.

A cherry on the top news is that the newly launched watch is available in three different colours: blue, black and pink and is priced at Rs. 3,995. Also, as of now, the smartwatch will be sold at the authorized Helix retailers store or through the brand’s official website.

Also read: Fossil Group launches virtual watch try-on feature without an additional app

Timex Group already has a well-established market in traditional watches as they contribute largely towards the brand’s sales. Now, the company is focusing to make a landmark in the digital platform and smartwatches segment for future growth in the country.

Sharing his excitement over this new launch, head marketing and e-commerce at the Timex Group, Ajay Dhyani expressed, “We are pleased to announce the launch of Helix’s first-ever smartwatch, Helix Smart. The all new Helix smartwatch embodies the Timex Group’s standard of quality and precision combined with new age technology. We believe that these smartwatches will be well received by the youth.

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Retail

L Catterton backed by LVMH nearing deal to acquire German brand Birkenstock

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ARIZONA from Birkenstock

March 01: L Catterton is nearing an agreement to acquire the German footwear brand Birkenstock as the deal might get final by this week. This information was bestowed by the people aware of the development.

The people also claimed that the investment firm and the family who is behind the German brand might announce the deal this week. However, the identity of the informers cannot be revealed since the information is private.

They also said that the transaction could bring a revenue value to Birkenstock of about 4 billion euros. At the same time, the representatives for both Birkenstock and L Catterton denied claiming the viral information.

Also read: German brand Birkenstock launches a first mono-brand store in Bengaluru

The informers also said that since the conversations are advanced, the agreement might get delayed or even fall apart. L Catterton is a private equity firm that is backed by luxury French fashion house LVMH.

The people aware of the matter also claimed that L Catterton has been competing with the buyout firm CVC Capital Partners in acquiring the German brand as the former were close to sealing the deal earlier this year, however, failing in the process when Birkenstock chose L Catterton’s exceptional track record along with its ability to expansion in Asia, as claimed in Bloomberg News reports of this month.

Birkenstock has been planning its expansion in India for quite a long time and has already launched its brand stores and mono-brand stores in several Indian states like Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.

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Fashion

Stora Enso, H&M, IKEA backs TreeToTextile; helps build demo plant for sustainable fibre

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February 25: After years of research, brands Stora Enso, H&M and IKEA said that they are together all set to build a demonstration plant in Sweden in order to generate a new and more sustainable wood-based textile fibre. The information was bestowed by the brands earlier on Tuesday.

With this development, the brands aim at reducing their climatic footprint and pollution as they are in high need of affordable greener alternatives to cotton, polyester and traditional viscose. The projects of developing ways to turns the tree into textile fibre have various Nordic pulp makers as a part of the development.

TreeToTextile in a statement said that its plant will be having a production capacity of 1,500 tonnes while its owners will fund a 35 million euro ($42.6 million) investment. The fourth part-owner of TreeToTextile, Lars Stigsson said that the plant would be located at Nymolla mill in Sweden, which is owned by Stora Enso (a Finnish forestry group) and its construction will be beginning in the near future.

Also read: India’s first Fashion Forward Fellowship on sustainable fashion; focuses on water stewardship

The statement also quoted, “The novel process is deliberately designed to have low energy demand and low chemical need. It is engineered to suit large scale production and includes a recovery system for reusing chemicals. By investing in a demonstration plant, we are finally on the go. With it, we are turning years of R&D into reality to increase the biobased share on the textile market to support climate action.”

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