Monday, March 17, 2008

Tommy eyes 51% in Indian Business

Tommy Hilfiger, controlled by buyout private equity Apax Partners, is looking at direct ownership of its India operations by bringing in the maximum permissible 51% foreign direct investment (FDI) allowed in single brand retail.
Tommy is looking for direct ownership, buying out perpetual India rights, currently with the Murjani Group.

The Murjanis invested in young Tommy Hilfiger when the American designer introduced his first signature collection back in 1985.

The Murjanis operate Tommy Hilfiger’s core fashion apparel business through an equal joint venture with Arvind Mills, which has 23 outlets across the country at present. The Murjanis have inked similar licensing deals with other Indian corporates like Titan Industries for watches and Welspun for home furnishings. The Murjanis, through their Brand Marketing India Pvt. Ltd. are pumping investment to develop other international fashion brands like Gucci, Jimmy Choo and French Connection. BMI recently raised $10 million through a private placement with VC fund Matrix Partners, for the cash burning realestate intensive business.

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