Tata Group Eyeing Stake Acquisition in Fabindia?

Tata Group Eyeing Stake Acquisition in Fabindia?

Tata Group Eyeing Stake Acquisition in Fabindia?

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The Tata Group is reportedly in discussions with Fabindia promoters and shareholders regarding a potential stake acquisition or outright purchase of the ethnic apparel business. 

Key Points 

• While the negotiations are ongoing, the acquisition is likely to value Fabindia at a figure lower than the previously estimated $2.5 Bn

• For the Tata group, this potential acquisition represents a strategic expansion within the ethnic wear sector

• Fabindia’s growth has stagnated over the years, although it has been actively expanding its presence through both offline and online channels

These talks suggest that the acquisition may value Fabindia at an amount lower than the initially estimated $2.5 billion during the clothing company’s failed initial public offering (IPO). If the deal materializes, it could be one of the largest transactions in the sector, following Aditya Birla Fashion Retail’s acquisition of a controlling interest in TCNS Clothing last year. 

For Tata Group, this represents a strategic addition to their portfolio, particularly in the ethnic wear sector, complementing brands like Westside, Zudio, and Utsa under Trent. 

Both Tata Group and Trent declined to comment on the ongoing discussions, while a spokesperson for Fabindia denied their existence. 

Fabindia seeks capital not only to reduce debt but also to expand capacity and revitalize its clothing line. The failed IPO aimed to provide an exit opportunity to investors such as Premji Invest and Bajaj Holdings. 

Earlier this year, Fabindia sold its subsidiary Organic India to Tata Consumer Products (TCP) for an enterprise value of ₹1,900 crore. This move followed the cancellation of its ₹4,000-crore IPO due to market uncertainties. Despite reporting a revenue increase of 21 percent to ₹1,668 crore in FY23, Fabindia has faced losses over the past three years. Rising expenses resulted in negative cash balances by the end of FY23. 

The company has struggled to maintain market share against newer competitors and adapt to evolving fashion trends. The potential stake acquisition by Tata Group underscores their interest in expanding their presence in the retail sector, particularly in niche segments like ethnic apparel, while presenting Fabindia with an opportunity to address financial challenges and rejuvenate its brand.