Reliance Brands and Plastic Legno SPA have signed a joint venture arrangement through which the former will acquire a 40 per cent stake in the latter's toy manufacturing business in India.

This investment by Reliance Brands serves a dual purpose -- bringing in vertical integration for its toy business, and helping diversify the supply chain with a long-term strategic interest in building toy manufacturing in India.

Disney plush toys.

Plastic Legno SPA is owned by the Sunino group that boasts of more than 25 years of toy production experience in Europe. The group started its India business in 2009 out of a need to develop a strong production hub that would cater to global markets, but more importantly, to the fast-evolving and growing Indian market.

"It is imperative for RBL to build design to shelf capability for a strategic advantage over the competition and to be an accelerator in building a robust toy manufacturing ecosystem in India not only for domestic consumption but also for global markets," a Reliance Brands spokesperson said.

Reliance Brands has a strong visibility in the toy industry with its portfolio of Hamleys, the British toy retailer and homegrown toy brand Rowan, making it one of the leading toy distributors. Hamleys currently has a global footprint across 15 countries with 213 doors and is India's largest chain of toy stores.

Reliance Retail
Reliance RetailIANS

In 2019, Reliance Brands marked its first international foray by acquiring the British toy retailer Hamleys.

"We have important development plans to implement, always in the spirit of creating a cultural background in this specific sector in India. We are ready for the challenges of the future, but when there is a group like RBL alongside, we are sure that together we can do a great development" said Paolo Sunino, Co-owner, Sunino Group.

In the past five years, Reliance Brands has also invested in building and operating homegrown Indian designer brands.