HONG KONG, May 10 — Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani has snapped up the storied British toy store Hamleys from its Chinese owners for US$88 million (RM365.5 million), the latest in a dizzying splurge of retail acquisitions.
Ambani’s Reliance Brands announced late yesterday that it had bought the 259-year-old toy retailer from the Hong Kong-listed Chinese fashion conglomerate C.Banner International Holdings.
“The worldwide acquisition of the iconic Hamleys brand and business places Reliance into the frontline of global retail,” Darshan Mehta, president and CEO of Reliance, said in a statement.
Ambani, worth some US$50 billion according to Forbes, initially made his fortune in oil refining and petro-chemicals but his Reliance empire has since branched into everything from telecoms to cable networks and tech firms.
Reliance already had a franchise agreement for India, running 88 stores in 29 cities but the purchase now brings him a total of 167 stores in 18 countries.