BEIJING — L Catterton Asia, the Asian unit of the largest consumer-focused private equity firm in the world, announced a purchase of a 10 percent stake in Future Lifestyle Fashions Ltd., India’s largest integrated branded fashion company.
The deal is the first the LVMH-backed fund has struck in the Indian fashion sector since 2012 — when it invested in Fabindia, a platform for products made from traditional techniques, for which it has completed an exit. In total, it has made three fashion investments in the region, the other being Genesis Luxury, the regional distributor for high-end brands such as Jimmy Choo and Burberry — although it represents L Catterton’s fifth investment into an Indian business overall.
Narayan Ramachandran, vice chairman and managing director of India, L Catterton Asia, said the fund was attracted by FLFL’s integrated business model, which operates from “design to distribution” across multiple price points, distribution channels and segments, including office wear, denim and plus-sized.
Founded in 2012, FLFL owns and markets 31 brands through a mix of monobrand shops, department stores and multibrand outlets, Central and Brand Factory. Collectively, it operates more than 400 stores spread across 6 million square feet. FLFL’s own brands contribute around 40 percent of sales.
“Of the 31 brands, six ‘power brands’ including Lee Cooper, Jealous 21, Scullers, Indigo Nation, All, John Miller, have been identified as key drivers of future growth,” Ramachandran said.
He also highlighted the company-operated Brand Factory, India’s largest multibrand outlet channel, which offers products on 20 to 70 percent discount, saying: “The format caters to value-seeking aspirational Indian customers and has no direct competition in the market.”
Ramachandran expects the group to consolidate its leadership position in India in the near term and eventually look overseas in the years to come.
“Driven by [a] young working population, rising middle class, increasing disposable income and accelerated urbanization, India will cross $2,000 GDP per capita by 2020,” Ramachandran said. “We believe the fashion retail industry is at an inflection point expected to exhibit exponential growth by 2020.”