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S Kumars retail unit to list before March

Raghavendra Kamath  |  Mumbai 

Brandhouse Retails (BHRL), part of the S Kumars group, is expected to be listed on the stock exchanges within a month, said a top company official today. The group’s flagship company S Kumars Nationwide (SKNL) had demerged Brandhouse in March and was earlier planning to list on the exchanges by October.

During the demerger, the entire stockholding of SKNL was reflected in BHRL, in which it had a foreign institutional investment of 30 per cent. But according to FDI norms on retail companies, FII holding in retail can not be more than 24.9 per cent. Hence, the group transferred around six per cent stake to a trustee company IL &FS, which will have to be sold within one year and the funds returned to the original shareholders, said Nitin Kasliwal, chairman of BHRL.

Already, the company has appointed three merchant bankers, including UBS and Goldman Sachs, to sell the stake within a year, Kasliwal said.

May miss store target
Brandhouse ,which has nearly 700 stores now, may lag behind its store target of 850 stores by FY 2009 due to a delay in the availability of retail space and in anticipation of lower rentals, said Tarun Joshi, MD & CEO of BHRL. “It is due to a combination of factors. First, real estate is not on track. In some cases we are seeing indefinite delay from developers. Second, we have slowed down a bit to take advantage of fall in rentals,’’ said Joshi.

Brandhouse was expecting a revenue of Rs 700 crore by FY 2009 and Rs 1070 crore revenues by FY 2010. “If stores do not come up on time, we may be challenged on the revenue front too,’’ said Joshi. The company has made a topline of Rs 314 crore by FY 2008.

“We are rationalising our store numbers,’’ Joshi said without mentioning that how many stores they have closed during the current financial year.

First Published: Wed, February 18 2009. 00:25 IST