Kishore Biyani's Future Group looks to offload stake in three fashion brands

Written by Vaishnavi Bala | Mumbai | Updated: Sep 27 2013, 17:15pm hrs
Future GroupFuture Group is looking at selling stake in Clarks, Celio and Turtle over the next one year.
With stake sale in two of its fashion brands underway, Kishore Biyanis Future Group will now look at offloading stake in three other fashion brands, companys chief financial officer CP Toshniwal said.

We are open to divestment in some brands and formats. We will now look at selling stake in Clarks, Celio and Turtle over the next one year, Toshniwal told FE, on the side-lines of the India Retail Forum.

Last month, Toshniwal had said that the company is looking to raise R800 crore by selling stake in some fashion brands. Currently, the company is in talks with private equity players for a stake sale in fashion brands Biba and AND. Future Group has 50% stake in French apparel company Celio and UKs footwear company Clarks. The company has 26% stake in menswear brand Turtle.

Celio, which currently has 25 standalone stores across the country and is present through over 100 shop-in-shops, had earlier filed an application with the FIPB to increase its stake in the venture by up to 100%.

Besides these fashion brands, the company will also go forward with the plan of finding private equity partners for its electronics chain of stores eZone and home furnishing chain Hometown. While eZone helped the combined entity (eZone and Hometown) turn Ebitda positive at R32 crore for the April-June period, Hometown will take one more year to turnaround. Future Group will seek partners for them after the turnaround.

Once both the businesses turnaround, we may merge them depending on the prospective buyer, Toshniwal said.

Future Retail has a debt of R4,500 crore and has been maintaining that it is comfortable with its current debt position. We are comfortable with our debt but one is always on a look out for partners, Toshniwal said.

Future Group has been restructuring itself for the past two years to cut debt and align its businesses.

The company sold its majority stake in Pantaloons format to Aditya Birla Nuvo, apart from divesting its non-core businesses like insurance. Last year, it also demerged its fashion businesses into a separate company, thereby creating verticals for facilitating FDI in multi-brand retail.

Future Retail also closed six Big Bazaars, four eZone stores, two Food Bazaar stores and two Home Town Express stores during the April-June period. It opened three Big Bazaar stores and five eZone stores during the time.

Restructuring to cut debt

* Future Group aims to sell stake in Clarks, Celio & Turtle over the next one year

* Currently, the group is in talks with PE players for a stake sale in Biba & AND

* The group has 50% stake in French company Celio & UKs footwear company Clarks

* Future Group has 26% stake in menswear brand Turtle