Aditya Birla Fashion acquires 51% stake in Sabyasachi; stock dips 6%

ICICI Securities said the stake buy may lead ABFRL to defer debt reduction plans
Shares of Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail (ABFRL) dipped as much as 6 per cent to Rs 153 on the BSE on Thursday. The company had, on Wednesday, announced a strategic partnership with India’s largest designer brand Sabyasachi by signing a definitive agreement for acquiring 51 per cent stake in Sabyasachi brand for a consideration of Rs 398 crore.

Sabyasachi is India’s largest and most influential luxury designer brand and engaged in categories such as apparel, accessories and jewellery and has a strong franchise in India, US, UK and the Middle East. The brand generated revenue worth Rs 274 crore as on FY20.

ABFRL said this partnership will add significant weight to ABFRL’s growing ethnic wear portfolio. This will accelerate the company’s strategy to capture a large share of ethnic wear market through a comprehensive & attractive portfolio of brands, across key consumer segments, usage occasions and geographies. The company expects to build a large ethnic wear business over next few years to complement its strong and diverse portfolio in western wear segment of the Indian apparel market.

“Acquisition in Sabyasachi brand by ABFRL is its third acquisition in ethnic wear category since July 2019 (ABFRL had already forayed into branded ethnic wear through investments in Jaypore, Shantanu & Nikhil ethnic wear brands). Through Sabyasachi brand, ABFRL will be able to tap luxury and bridge luxury segments and address entire gamut of ethnic wear segments: value, premium, luxury,” ICICI Securities said in a note.

ABFRL has recently raised Rs 2,500 crore (right issue: Rs 1,000 crore, preferential allotment: Rs 1,500 crore), which would assist in funding latest acquisition. However, the same may defer debt reduction plans for ABFRL, the brokerage firm said.

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