Franklin Templeton, India Prima Fund lap up 7.88 mn shares of Pantaloons

Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund's Franklin India High Growth Co Fund has bought 4.78 million shares of Pantaloons Fashion and Retail Ltd offloaded by Future Corporate Resources Limited.

Franklin India High Growth Companies Fund (G) on Thursday bought 4,784,239 shares of Pantaloons Fashion and Retail at Rs165 per share on the BSE.

India Prima Fund is reported to have bought another 3.09 million shares of Pantaloons at around Rs165 on the BSE.

Future Corporate Resources Limited is reported to have sold 5,900,000 shares of Pantaloons at Rs165 per share on the BSE. Also, PIL Industries Limited sold 2,200,000 shares of Pantaloons at Rs165.36 per share on the BSE.

The share touched its 52-week high of Rs209.90 and 52-week low Rs107.20 on 21 May 2015 and 27 April 2015, respectively.

According to BSE bulk deal data, Future Corporation Resources sold 5.9 million shares (out of about 13 million shares) and PIL Industries 2.2 million shares (out of 2.87 million shares).

Franklin Templeton and India Prima Fund bought the offloaded shares. It remains to be seen whether investors will offload the balance shares too.

Shares of Pantaloons Fashion Retail will remain in focus at the bourses, as big investors sold part of their shares in the company.

Future Group had earlier spun out the business unit and sold majority stake in it to Aditya Birla Group.

Future Group has sold over half of its remaining stake in Pantaloon Fashion and Retail Ltd through a secondary market transaction on Thursday for Rs134 crore ($21 million). Stock exchange data shows the shares were acquired by a couple of mutual funds.

Three years ago Future Group had spun out its apparel retail business from its flagship company Pantaloon Retail (now Future Retail) as a separate listed firm and sold a majority stake in the venture to Aditya Birla Nuvo, one of the largest branded fashion apparel players in the country.

Pantaloons format business had 65 stores and 21 factory outlets across 35 cities covering total retail space of over 2 million sq ft. The firm Pantaloon Fashion & Retail, now majority owned by Aditya Birla Group, is now among the top three large format fashion stores in the country and the top player in the women's wear segment. It has scaled up its presence and as of March 22015 had 104 stores and 30 factory outlets in 49 cities.

As of 31 March 2015, Future Group held a little over 17 per cent stake in Pantaloon Fashion and Retail and has sold over half of this on Thursday.

This comes at a time when the Aditya Birla Group is consolidating its branded apparel business under Pantaloons Fashion & Retail which would then be renamed as Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail, creating India's top branded clothing company by revenues and number of sales outlets.

Currently, the business is housed under separate subsidiaries and business units of Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd, a diversified public listed firm of the group.