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Rediff News  All News  » Business » DLF may buy Ferragamo franchise

DLF may buy Ferragamo franchise

November 30, 2007 11:05 IST
DLF, the country's largest realty firm, is eyeing the India franchise rights of ultra luxury brand Salvatore Ferragamo.

The Italian brand's original franchise partner, Sports Station India, has decided to exit the business and instead concentrate on premium brands such as Levi's and Dockers.

Sources close to the development confirmed that the franchise rights were being purchased for approximately $3 million.

There is only one Ferragamo store in India in Mumbai, which opened in March 2006. Ferragamo is most famous for its hand-made leather shoes, besides its range of accessories such as handbags, men's ties and now even apparel.

It is not clear whether the franchise rights are being purchased by DLF or by the promoters. Sources say Pia Singh, the daughter of DLF promoter K P Singh, and her husband Timmy Sarna have been wanting to bring luxury brands to India at an individual level.

Pia Singh could not be contacted and DLF's spokesperson declined comment on the matter.

K P Singh had earlier told Business Standard that DLF was looking to partner global luxury brands - either through equity stakes or via the franchise route.

DLF is currently developing the Emporio mall in the capital, which will be a one-stop shop for all kinds of luxury brands such as Armani, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Escada and Cartier. Sources said DLF was also planning to develop another Emporio mall in Mumbai.

DLF for sometime been entering the super-luxury business, such as top-of-the-line apartments, an exclusive signature Arnold Palmer golf course, a tie-up with Four Seasons for a hotel and even the development of India's first luxury mall Emporio.

Recently, Sports Station had decided to move away from the active management of luxury brands, and concentrate only on premium brands, which are its core strength.

"A separate joint venture with Genesis Colors, called Genesis Luxury, has been set up to mange all luxury brands," said a company executive.

Luxury menswear brand Canali, apparel and accessories brand Aigner and Genesis Colors's flagship brand Satya Paul make up Genesis Luxury's portfolio.
Nayantara Rai in New Delhi