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Reliance Retail in talks to acquire Kiko Milano’s India beauty biz

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Kiko Milano would be Reliance Retail’s second acquisition of a global beauty and cosmetics brand after Sephora’s India business

New Delhi: Reliance Retail is in talks with Italy’s beauty brand Kiko Milano to acquire its India business in a bid to bolster the Mumbai retailer’s beauty and cosmetics offerings in one of the fastest-growing retail segments in the South Asian country.

Two people familiar with the development said Reliance Retail is in advanced stages of talks to acquire Kiko Milano, a business that is currently being operated in India by a joint venture partnership between Italy’s Percassi Group and New Delhi-based DLF Brands Ltd. While Percassi held controlling 51% stake in Kiko Cosmetics Retail Pvt. Ltd. India joint venture, DLF Brands held the rest 49% stake in the company.

If the deal fructifies, Reliance Retail will take over about a dozen Kiko Milano stores in many cities in India. The second person said Reliance Retail plans to further grow the Kiko Milano brand as a separate business.

When contacted for comment, Reliance Retail said, “As a policy, we do not comment on media speculation and rumours. Our company evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis. We have made and will continue to make necessary disclosures in compliance with our obligations under the Securities Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations 2015 and our agreements with the stock exchanges.”

IndiaRetailing has also emailed Kiko Milano for its response, which will be included once received.

Kiko Milano would be the second global beauty and cosmetics brand for Reliance Retail to acquire after the country’s largest retailer by sales snapped up the India business of LVMH-owned beauty brand Sephora from Arvind Fashions in November 2023. Reliance Retail closed the deal at an enterprise value of Rs 216 crore, inheriting Sephora’s network of 26 stores across 13 cities.

Separately, Reliance Retail also has its homegrown beauty chain called Tira spearheaded by Isha Ambani, the daughter of India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani. Tira is an omnichannel beauty venture aiming to tap the torrid growth of beauty and cosmetics products in India in recent years.

Reliance Retail is upping the ante with Sephora, Tira and now Kiko Milano to take on the many existing Indian players including Nykaa, Shoppers Stop and Tata Cliq that have been aggressively expanding their beauty and cosmetics store chains over the months.

Consulting firm KPMG expects India’s beauty and wellness industry to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20% to reach a $20 billion business by the end of 2025.

If a deal goes through, Kiko Milano will be the third DLF Brands-operated foreign brand to change hands to Reliance Retail after Mothercare and Sunglass Hut.

Kiko Milano forayed into the Indian market in 2016 with a store in DLF’s Mall of India, Noida. Currently, the company operates about 10 stores in New Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Pune, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Lucknow, according to the company’s website.

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