Our Bureau

Mumbai, Sept. 2

PANTALOON Retail (India) Ltd (PRIL) and Liberty Shoes Ltd have entered into a joint venture to set up a chain of stores for footwear retailing and other accessories.

PRIL will hold 51 per cent and Liberty 49 per cent stake in the new company. Liberty will infuse Rs 12.25 crore as part of its stake. The company will have an authorised capital of Rs 25 crore.

The company will set up a chain of large format footwear stores across the country, with each store covering 10,000-15,000 sq. ft. The first store is likely to be opened in three months.

According to a company statement, it plans to roll out 45 standalone stores by 2008 and the company hopes to achieve a turnover of Rs 350 crore in three years, with EBDITA levels in excess of 8 per cent.

The MoU is only for retailing and not for manufacturing.

The proposed joint venture is expected to combine property and retail expertise of Pantaloon with Liberty's design sourcing and merchandising expertise.

Commenting on the joint venture, Mr Kishore Biyani, Managing Director, PRIL, said: "We are looking at tapping the retail footwear market that presents a huge potential and Liberty with their product knowledge are an ideal partner for us. With this joint venture we will lead the organised market for the footwear industry that represents 8 per cent of consumers' fashion spends in the country."

Mr Adarsh Gupta, Executive Director, Liberty, said, "Pantaloon brings with it expertise in the property market and a deep understanding of Indian consumers."

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 3, 2005)
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