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Tuesday, Mar 30, 2004

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ICICI Ventures takes 54 pc in Arvind Brands

Our Bureau

Bangalore , March 29

ICICI Emerging Sectors Fund, a private equity fund managed by ICICI Ventures, on Monday announced that it was acquiring a 54 per cent equity stake in Arvind Brands Ltd, a wholly-owned apparel subsidiary of Arvind Mills Ltd. As a result, Arvind Mills Ltd stake in Arvind Brands will reduce to 46 per cent.

As part of the transactions, Arvind Mills will in future acquire an additional 5 per cent stake in Arvind Brands, thereby bringing its holding in Arvind Brands to 51 per cent and reducing ICICI Venture's stake to 49 per cent. Arvind Brands will utilise the additional cash flows emanating from this transaction to de-leverage its balance sheet.

Commenting on the decision to pick up a stake in Arvind Brands, Ms Renuka Ramnath, Managing Director and CEO, ICICI Venture said: "We clearly perceive branded apparel as one of the fastest areas of growth in the coming years. Arvind Brands today owns some of the leading brands and should be able to leverage its position further in the competitive and high growth market scenario."

"ICICI Venture's decision to invest in the company is a true vindication of our strength in the branded apparel market. The company will also benefit from the multi-disciplinary expertise that it will offer us and the management is excited about working with ICICI Venture," said Mr Darshan Mehta, President Arvind Brands Ltd. ICICI will take two seats on the five-member board of Arvind Brands.

Arvind Brands, the domestic branded apparel arm of Lalbhai Group has in its portfolio, leading fashion apparel brands like Arrow, Excalibur, Bay Island, Lee, Flying Machine, Wrangler, Newport, Ruf & Tuf, Ruggers and Lee Kids.

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