Spencer’s Buys Nature’s Basket

Spencer’s Retail, RP Sanjiv Goenka Group’s retail flagship, has acquired Godrej Group’s premium food retailing venture Nature’s Basket for ₹300 crore in an all-cash deal which will enable it to re-enter the western India market.

In a stock exchange notification, Spencer’s Retail said this deal will enable it to access the western India market where it has no presence, making it a national player and strengthening its omni-channel capabilities.

The company had exited Mumbai in 2013 to move out of loss-making stores at the time. At present, it operates 156 stores in 10 states. On Friday, the company also reported that it clocked its first full-year net profit, of ₹7.94 crore from a revenue of ₹2,187.19 crore, in 2018-19.

Nature’s Basket is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Godrej Industries and operates 36 neighbourhood convenience stores in Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru. It reported sales of ₹338.28 crore for 2018-19. In a press release, Godrej Group executive director Tanya Dubash said that to further unlock the “immense potential” of the Nature’s Basket brand and to grow it to greater heights, the group decided to “pass on the torch to owners who have prioritised retail in their portfolio strategy and have the relevant ecosystems to take the business to the next level”.

She said Spencer’s Retail is very keen to strengthen the brand and accelerate the growth of the business at a time when the retail industry is consolidating whereby scale has become important. Lodha & Co advised Godrej Industries on the deal.

RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group sector head (retail and FMCG) Shashwat Goenka said Nature’s Basket stores are located in prime residential locations and have high sales throughout per square feet. “Nature’s Basket is positioned as an aspirational brand like ours and hence fits our business. We will continue with the Nature’s Basket brand and may even extend it to other markets where it is not present since it is positioned in the premium segment,” he said.

Goenka said the group will also evaluate this opportunity to relaunch the Spencer’s Retail brand in western India. “The potential is huge for integration. For starters, we would expand the distribution reach of the private brands by immediately launching Nature’s Basket gourmet food private brands in the Spencer’s stores and vice versa,” he said.

In its financial results announced on Friday, Spencer’s Retail said that in the fourth quarter of 2018-19, it clocked sales of ₹523.46 crore and a net profit of ₹2.79 crore. It said the results were not comparable with that of the year-ago period since the retail businesses were demerged from CESC in 2017 and hence the financial result included the operation of such undertaking from October 2017.

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