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Reliance Retail to buy UK-based Superdry’s South Asian licences

MUMBAI: Reliance Retail Ventures will acquire struggling UK-based Superdry’s brand and related trademarks in three Asian countries for 40 million pounds, strengthening its association with the foreign chain.
The Superdry brand, its trademarks and other intellectual property assets covering India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will be transferred to a separate vehicle in which Reliance Retail’s indirect subsidiary, Reliance Brands Holding UK, will own 76% and Superdry Plc will retain 24%.
Reliance Retail’s association with Superdry dates back to 2012 when the former gained the India franchise rights of the UK-based clothier. Superdry will invest about 10 million pounds in the new vehicle, which will be set off against the 40 million pounds consideration it receives from Reliance Retail, it said in a filing with the London Stock Exchange.
Superdry’s intellectual property assets covering the three South Asian territories generated about 1.8% of its total sales in the financial year through April 30, contributing about 11 million pounds in revenue and 2.6 million pounds in operating profit, it said.
The deal with Reliance Retail, said Superdry, will include intellectual property rights relating to its new designs as well. It believes that the transaction will provide the “best opportunities” for its brand in South Asia, allowing it to “focus on growing its brand and increasing sales in its more established territories, where it has strongest expertise”.
Owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Retail operates more than 18,000 stores in India, selling over 50 different fashion brands. It also owns the intellectual property assets of Gas and Iconix brands in India. Iconix covers 23 labels such as Ed Hardy, London Fog, Umbro and Hydraulic.
Superdry was launched by Julian Dunkerton and James Holder after a 2003 trip to Tokyo. The British company further said that the deal with Reliance Retail will help in boosting its liquidity, strengthening its balance sheet and funding its ongoing working capital requirements as part of its turnaround plan.

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