Fabindia acquires 25% in UK ethnic retail chain

Thu Jan 8, 2009 10:11am IST

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The valuations may be on the lower side as the sales in UK are falling.

Fabindia, the authentic Indian clothes and accessories retail chain store, has acquired a 25% stake in UK's bohemian womenswear retailer EAST. Fabindia's finance director Sunil Chainani will join the EAST board, reports Economic Times.

The valuations may be on the lower side as the sales in UK are falling. The investors in EAST include Luke Johnson, the Channel 4 chairman and John Singh of Jaipur.

While EAST has annual revenues of £30 million, Fabindia has revenues of about Rs 300 crore. EAST was formed in 1994 and started with mainly clothes and designs based on designs from Jaipur.

EAST has 77 outlets, which includes selling through 18 John Lewis stores. This network will Fabindia sell its garments in UK. Fabindia already has a presence in Gulf with stores in Dubai, Bahrain and Qatar. The investors in EAST include Luke Johnson, the Channel 4 chairman and John Singh of Jaipur.

Fabindia got a valuation of $184 million in 2007 when WCP Mauritius Holdings, run by former World Bank president James Wolfensohn, paid $11 million for a 6% stake in the company.

Formed in 1960 by John Bissell, a former buyer for Macy's in New York, to supply ethnic Indian clothes to the western world, Fabindia has come a long way.

The retail chain is in a rapid expansion drive and plans to expand the number of stores to 250 by 2010 from the present 80-85 stores. It has also recently introduced a line of craft-based jewellery to expand its customer base.

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