India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani buys iconic toy store
India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani has bought the iconic British toy retailer Hamleys for an undisclosed sum.
Reliance Brands Limited, which is owned by Mr Ambani, said it had signed an agreement to buy the company from China’s C Banner International which had acquired it in 2015.
Hamleys, which was founded in 1760, is the world’s oldest toy retailer and has 167 stores across 18 countries.
Reliance Industries already operates 88 Hamleys stores across 29 Indian cities.
According to Forbes, the 62-year-old Mr Ambani is worth $50.7bn.
“The worldwide acquisition of the iconic Hamleys brand…. is a long cherished dream come true,” Darshan Mehta, the CEO of Reliance Brands Limited, said in a statement.
Hamleys had last year reported a £9.2m loss, blaming Brexit and the threat of terrorism for the downturn.
It had opened four stores in the UK but later closed two.
However its flagship store in London’s Regent Street, which opened in 1881, continues to be one of the city’s major attractions.
Set over seven floors, it has an estimated 50,000 lines of toys on sale.