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Reliance Brands in joint venture with Italy's Diesel; exits JV with Sixty Group news
14 October 2008

Italian fashion brand Diesel has entered into a joint venture with Reliance Retail subsidiary Reliance Brands.

Earlier, Italian denim fashion icon Renzo Rosso's Diesel SpA had entered into a joint venture with Arvind Brands in April 2007, targeting a retail chain of 15 exclusive stores in India in three years. Arvind Mills CEO at the time was Darshan Mehta, who is the current CEO of Reliance Brands.

Diesel held the majority 51-per cent stake in the joint venture, which was later called off in April 2008, barely a year after it was signed. Arvind Brands, the minority partner had a change of heart about the deal, and was reported to be responsible for exiting the venture saying that it restricted future prospects for both companies.

Diesel, while keen on a presence in India, put its India plans on hold. Now, it is back in the Indian market, as the minority partner holding 49 per cent of the joint venture with Reliance Brands. Reliance Brands holds the majority 51 per cent stake in joint venture, which aims to commence operations in 2009 with stores in Mumbai and New Delhi before a wider rollout across cities such as Bangalore, Chandigarh and Hyderabad.

In a statement, Renzo Rosso, president and founder of Diesel said, ''In Reliance Brands, we have found an ideal partner in size and management skills, and also a team of people with whom we perfectly align on all strategic plans about how to develop in the Indian market.''

Darshan Mehta, president and CEO of Reliance Brands added, ''This joint venture is one of the most important milestones for the company. It is an exciting prospect to offer the complete gamut of offerings of the brand in India, including Diesel's cutting-edge in-store experience.''
Based in Molvena, northern Italy, fashion brand Diesel has a presence across 80 countries with 5,000 points of sale and over 300 single brand stores.

Reliance Brands commenced operations in October 2007. Its business model hinges around building and launching national and international brands in the luxury and premium segments across retail segments such as apparel, footwear and lifestyle. Reliance Retail, the parent company of reliance Brands, already has joint ventures with international brands like Marks & Spencer and Hamleys of UK, Apple Inc and Office Depot of the US among others. Reliance Retail presently operates over 600 stores in 57 Indian cities.

Additionally, Reliance Brands has previously announced a joint venture with Dama SpA of Italy, under which it will launch the latter's luxury sportswear brand Paul& Shark in India. The company is set to open stores for both Diesel and Paul & Shark sometime around April 2009, which will initially roll out in Mumbai and Delhi, before a opening in other cities.

Joint venture with Sixty Group off
In a story reminiscent of the split between Diesel and Arvind Brands, Reliance Brands has called off its joint venture plans with Italy's Sixty Group, ostensibly on account of certain disagreements.

The joint venture was put together in December 2007, and has been called off in less than a year.

The memorandum of understanding between the two companies, which was non-binding, envisaged setting up a single brand retail chain of standalone stores such as Miss Sixty, Energie, Killah and Sixty, amongst others.

The joint venture was to set up around 56 exclusive high-end stores for the four core brands of Miss Sixty, Energie, Killah, and Murphy&Nye over a three year time span.

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Reliance Brands in joint venture with Italy's Diesel; exits JV with Sixty Group