Lacoste
Picture: Lacoste store, New Delhi, IndiaWikimapia

French clothing and accessories brand Lacoste's 23-year-old India manufacturing licence is on the block. Existing licence holder Amit Judge wants to exit and is in talks with Raymond and Arvind, the Mint reported, citing two sources privy to the development.

The deal is likely to be valued at about Rs 150 to 180 crore.

"There is a disconnect on the valuation and both Arvind and Raymond have shown little interest at this price," said the daily, quoting one of the two sources. 

Judge got the licence in 1993 to manufacture and sell Lacoste apparel and accessories in India. His company, Sports and Leisure Apparel Ltd, has a unit in Noida, near Delhi where it makes apparel and accessories.

In September last year, the Press Trust of India had reported that Lacoste had 48 stores in 18 Indian cities and was planning to open eight more by the end of the year. The company was eyeing air travellers by opening some of the new outlets at Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bangalore airports, the agency quoted Lacoste India Director & CEO Rajesh Jain as saying.

Though the French company sells a range of products, clothing accounts for lion's share.

"Apparel contributes 89 per cent, 6 to 7 per cent is by footwear and 2 per cent by leather goods as bags and rest is constituted by wrist watches, belts," Jain told PTI. 

For foreign companies in the retail space, joint ventures, licensing or franchising were the only options to enter India since foreign direct investment was banned until recently.

The rules were relaxed in November 2015, when the Modi government opened up many sectors for foreign direct investment (FDI), including single retail brands such as Marks & Spencer, Adidas, Reebok, IKEA, Apple, Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) to sell online.