Reliance Industries to sell Vimal, lost-making textiles business

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), India's largest private sector company, is looking at selling its textiles business and iconic brand `Vimal', under its plans to exit loss-making businesses, according to a report by television channel ET Now.

The company, controlled by Mukesh Ambani, has hired private investment banking firm NM Rothschild as advisors.

The company is looking at selling its textile businesses, including its manufacturing plant at Naroda, Gujarat, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year. An RIL spokesman declined to comment.

Reliance Industries founder Dhirubhai Ambani had started the first textile mill at Naroda, Ahmedabad, in 1966, making his foray into textiles. The factory used polyester fibre yarn to manufacture textiles and was marketed under the brand 'Vimal', which became a household name.

'Vimal' was named after Dhirubhai Ambani's elder brother Ramaniklal Ambani's son, Vimal Ambani. The campaign, ''Only Vimal, only vimal, the looks of a winner,'' and its chain of exclusive retail outlets, which were rolled out on a franchisee model, resulted in the product becoming a huge success in the country.

RIL, in its annual report for financial year ended 31 March 2012, said the textile industry was impacted due to volatile cotton prices.