Kishore Biyani’s Future Lifestyle Fashions Ltd (FLFL) announced on Wednesday that it will acquire a 29.9% stake in e-commerce fashion retailer Koovs for about Rs 140 crore subject to regulatory and procedural approvals.

With this investment, FLFL—a part of the Future Group—will be the largest shareholder in Koovs.

“This investment would complement the existing value chain for FLFL as an intgrated branded fashion player. FLFL’s strong retail presence backed by owned brands coupled with Koovs online strategy will help reach more customers and create value for all stakeholders,” said Biyani.

Subject to conditions, under existing shareholder authority, Koovs will issue FLFL with 57,876,600 new ordinary shares at a price of 10 paisa per share, representing 24.8 per cent of the current issued share capital, raising £5,787,660 in cash, said the statement.

Biyani had long dabbled with the idea of e-commerce. Earlier, Future Group was in talks to acquire Jabong.com, according to media reports. In 2016, Future Retail had bought Rocket Internet’s online furniture seller FabFurnish.com. However, it shut down FabFurnish.com later.

FLFL owns and markets about 30 fashion brands, and collectively operates more than 400 stores spread over 6 million square feet of retail space.

“This acquisition will give FLFL access to an online fashion platform, which had been missing from its portfolio. This acquisition will be synergistic in terms of both departmental store formats and brands,” said a note by stock brokerage firm Jefferies. “With this online foray, FLFL will be able to operate an omni channel play along with its physical store network and push its own brand portfolio.”

Koovs was founded in 2012 by Waheed Ali, a former chairman of ASOS, a leading fashion giant. Koovs registered a sales of £7.9m for a six-month period ending September 30, 2017. It aims to taps a growing number of online shoppers, and estimates that e-tail is likely to grow to $60 billion by 2020. Unlike other online platforms that operate on the marketplace model, Koovs owns its inventory.

In recent times, retail has been in a huddle with the Walmart and Flipkart deal, and many experts believe the omni channel is the way forward. According to Jeffries, the retail industry is likely to consolidate, particularly between online and offline players.

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