Everstone Capital has started early stages of discussions for acquiring 25-30 per cent stake in leading designer, Ritu Kumar’s business, according to people in the know.
A query sent to Ritu Kumar did not elicit any response, while Everstone’s spokesperson said the company could not comment on market speculations.
Ritu Kumar, who has been awarded the Padma Shri in 2013, runs franchises and retail outlets under the label RITU KUMAR across the country. Her promoters are looking for a valuation of Rs 300 crore for the company.
The fast-growing designer wear market in India gives an attractive investment opportunity for private equity investors.
Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton or LVMH’s private equity arm, ‘L Capital’, owns 40 per cent stake in Genesis, which sells leading designer brand, Satya Paul. L Capital was also reportedly in talks with top Indian designers, Rohit Bal and Sabyasachi Mukherjee to set up Indian luxury houses. L Capital had bought eight per cent stake in Indian ethnic wear chain Fabindia last year.
Saloni Nangia, president at retail consultancy Technopak, said, “For designer wear, the opportunity is still niche, but growing. The biggest focus for designer clothing is weddings which are largely traditional-wear focused. Some of the designers are present through their ethnic prêt lines, which is an attractive business opportunity. They need to ensure that they are fashion forward and differentiated. While the market is still small, the opportunity is scalable and sustainable in the long term. Therefore, private equities are keenly interested.”
According to a recent report by Assocham, the designer wear industry in India is likely to reach Rs 11,000 crore by 2020 from the size of Rs 720 crore, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 40 per cent.
Apart from the high-end designer and ethnic wear brands, other mid-sized apparel brands are also on a fundraising mode. As reported by Business Standard earlier, apparel makers who own popular brands such as W, Mineral Fashions and Chemistry are in discussions various PE investors for seeking funds.