India Inc India Inc: Wednesday, 22 February 2012 12:33

RIL goes on joint venture spree across US, Russia

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RILReliance Industries Limited (RIL) has been on a joint venture (JV) striking spree across different sectors of its business.

The Mukesh Ambani led conglomerate finalised a 50-50 JV between subsidiary Reliance Brands and US-based lifestyle firm Iconix Brand Group this week.

Iconix, whose popular brands include London Fog and Ocean Pacific, has similar partnerships in Greater China, Europe and Latin America.

A new Mumbai-based entity, Iconix India, will now focus on growing royalty revenue through existing and new licensing agreements with both manufacturers and retailers and also provide marketing and brand management services. Existing Iconix business in India with brands such as Mossimo and Ed Hardy will also be rolled into the partnership.

As part of the deal, Reliance is likely to use the Iconix JV to acquire or invest in Indian fashion brands, while Iconix will transfer the Indian ownership of all future global acquisitions to the new JV.

The announcement coincides with yet another major deal for the company in the petrochemical sector.

RIL agreed to form a JV with Russian petrochemical company Sibur to make 100,000 metric tons of butyl rubber a year in Jamnagar, in the western Indian state of Gujarat.

Reliance will own a 74.9 per cent stake in the JV, which will be named Reliance Sibur Elastomers Private Limited, and SIBUR will hold the rest, the company said in a statement this week.

The JV will invest $450 million to build a facility, which is expected to be commissioned by the middle of 2014.

Sibur will develop the basic engineering design for the facility and also train the venture's personnel at its production site in Togliatti, Russia.

It will be the first time butyl rubber has been produced in India and the firm aims to be the fourth largest global supplier of the synthetic rubber, Reliance and Sibur said in a joint statement.

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