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Reliance acquires Superdry’s South Asia IP assets for 40 mn pounds

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Superdry, whose fashion line mostly includes sweatshirts, hoodies and jackets, will own 24 per cent of the joint venture while Reliance Retail, India’s largest retailer, will have the remaining 76 per cent

New Delhi: Reliance Brands Limited (RBL), through its wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK (RBUK), has today signed a definitive agreement to enter a joint venture with UK-based Superdry PLC, which will acquire UK retailer Superdry’s intellectual property assets for India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh territories, the company announced in a release.

RBUK and Superdry will own 76% and 24% of the joint venture entity, respectively. The consideration for the IP is £40.0 million, which is estimated to result in Superdry PLC receiving gross cash proceeds of £30.4 million (approx. £28.3 million net of fees and taxes) from RBUK. RBUK is held by Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL) through its subsidiary Reliance Brands Limited – Superdry’s exclusive franchise partner in India since 2012.

Under the agreement, Superdry’s brand IP assets in South Asia will be permanently transferred to the new JV entity. And Superdry UK will continue to support brand development through sharing expertise in design, product development, and marketing.

Reliance will continue to oversee brand operations in the three countries, PTI reported.

“Superdry has come to define urban cool in India for more than a decade. The journey has been rewarding & fun in equal parts due to working with the hugely talented Superdry team and the sense of camaraderie led by Julian. I look forward with excitement to this new era of our partnership,” Darshan Mehta, MD of RBL said.

Julian Dunkerton (CEO & Founder, Superdry) and Darshan Mehta (MD, Reliance Brands Limited)
Julian Dunkerton (CEO & Founder, Superdry) and Darshan Mehta (MD, Reliance Brands Limited)

This announcement represents a natural progression in the brand’s ongoing success and popularity in India. The new partnership will enable deeper collaboration between RBL and Superdry PLC, facilitating new sourcing channels, as well as introduction of India-centric product categories, cost optimization, and long-term investments in brand development, the release added.

“We are pleased to be announcing this IP agreement with our long-term partners, Reliance. India represents an incredible opportunity for Superdry, and our excellent existing relationship with Reliance means we will be able to hit the ground running. 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,” Julian Dunkerton, Superdry’s CEO and Founder said.

Superdry’s offerings include versatile outerwear, T-shirts, and shirts for men and women, which have become increasingly popular, alongside categories like shoes and accessories. The brand has consistently adapted to Indian shopping needs and introduced swimwear, fragrances, as well as an exclusive Denim & Shirt range earlier this year.

In 2019, Superdry expanded into sports and activewear under ‘Superdry Sport’, adding performance-driven products to its portfolio. Bollywood actor Kartik Aryan has also been part of the brand since 2022 as a brand ambassador, featuring prominently in brand campaigns and new launches.

The UK fashion retailer has been grappling with weak orders from wholesale partners cautious on stock levels and liquidity, reported PTI.

RBL is the premium retail arm of RRVL, which operates over 18,000 stores across India offering 50 different luxury fashion brands with a presence in 7,000 towns and a total shopping area of more than 65 million square feet.

Since partnering with RBL in 2012, the Superdry brand has expanded rapidly in India. The brand has expanded rapidly to 200 points of sale across 50 cities. E-commerce continues to drive incremental growth for the brand, boosting its reach beyond 2,300 Indian cities, underlining RBL-run Superdry India operations as the largest franchisee network of the brand globally, the release said.

For the financial year to April 30, 2023, the South Asian IP generated approximately 1.8 per cent of total group sales and contributed revenue of 11 million pounds and profit before tax of about 2.6 million pounds, including centralised costs allocation, reported PTI.

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