CCI approves restructuring of Future Group's fashion biz

Fair trade regulator Competition Commission has approved the restructuring of Future group's fashion businesses, that includes Pantaloon Retail. The proposed rejig involves five entities – Pantaloon Retail India, Futures Ventures India, Indus-League Clothing, Lee Cooper and Future Lifestyle Fashions.

Noting that the proposed combination is a "measure of internal re-structuring of the Future Group companies," Competition Commission of India (CCI) said there would be no change in ultimate control over any of the involved entities.

"The proposed combination, therefore, is not likely to result in any adverse competition concern in India," CCI said in its order dated January 3.

Futures Ventures holds 95.29 per cent stake in Indus-League, which owns branded apparel and accessories business such as Indigo Nation, Scullers among others. About 4.69 per cent shareholding in the company is held by Bennett & Coleman.

Future Ventures is into business activities related to "consumption led sectors".

Lee Cooper, an apparel major, is a subsidiary of Indus-League. Future Lifestyle is part of Pantaloon Retail.

The latter holds 9.52 per cent stake in Future Ventures.

As per the proposed deal, the entire fashion business of Indus-League, including Lee Cooper, would be amalgamated with Future Ventures.

The entire fashion business of retail major Pantaloon Retail including its format stores of Central, Brand Factory, Planet Sports would be transferred to Future Ventures.

Further, the entire fashion business of Future Ventures would be transfered to and amalgamated with Future Lifestyle.

"It is observed that the proposed combination... is planned to be carried out with an ultimate objective whereby the fashion business of Future Ventures, Indus-League, Lee and Pantaloon Retail, all of which belong to the Future Group, is proposed to be integrated into a single entity Future Lifestyle," CCI said.

Citing the notice, the fair trade watchdog said the rationale of the proposed intra-group arrangement is to remove the multiple structures, reduce administrative cost and achieve operational and managerial efficiency.

Last month, CCI had asked the companies to remove defects and furnish certain information. The same was submitted on December 20.

All the entities had approached CCI for approval after their respective boards gave the nod for the deal on November 9, last year.