Blackstone, American private equity firm, has plans of investing about Rs 1,700 crore in Kishore Biyani's Future Group that owns market chains like Central, Brand Factory, Big Bazaar and EasyDay. There has been no official announcement as of now but it is expected to be declared after the company's board meeting.
According to The Economic Times, the investment will be in the form of equity and structured debt. It will be used for capital expansion of Brand Factory, the discounted fashion retail chain.
Blackstone along with its investors L Catterton, Premji Invest, L&T Mutual Fund and LIC will be picking up about seven percent shares in Future Group. At the same time, Aion, an existing investor, will be getting a partial payout of about $50 million.
Future Group has more than 400 stores that comprise about 97 Brand Factory stores and 47 Central stores. They have also invested in fashion brands like BIBA, AND, Clarks, Cover Story, and Celio. FLFL, an ally of Future Group, contributes about 40 percent of the sales through its strong portfolio of brands.
The group had stepped into the online strata in 2018 by acquiring 30 percent stake in Koovs just after the launch of Brand Factory's e-commerce platform. Other platforms boosting the sales of the group include aLLOnlineStore.in, Clarks.in and CoverStory.co.in.
The group has also been in talks with Amazon since 2018 to sell its products online. There were multiple rumours Amazon had acquired a 9.5 percent stake in the Future Group. Though there has been no announcement of the acquisition, Amazon has listed most of the brands online since May.
Kishore Biyani had recently told Inc42 said that the company had taken multiple initiatives for e-commerce. The company had started Future Bazaar before Flipkart that resulted in a loss of about Rs 350 crore. He further clarified that Big Bazaar Direct is going through massive loss and will shut down by next week.