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17-May-2016

Raymond Ltd is in talks with overseas private equity funds KKR & Co and Blackstone to sell 20 per cent in its branded apparel business to fund expansion, according to reliable sources.

Raymond Ltd CEO Sanjay Behl confirmed the company's plan to join hands with PE funds for growth capital but did not divulge any more details.

Raymond has been in textile manufacturing and retailing business since 1925 but despite being one of the early entrants in branded apparel retail, it has grown slower than the competition. Raymond was earlier known more for its fabrics than ready-to-wear apparel. "Until now we have gone for renovation rather than expansion," Behl said.

The company has taken several steps in the past two years to reduce working capital, rationalise its product portfolio and revamp stores to improve the consumers' shopping experience. Its apparel brands are Raymond, Park Avenue, ColorPlus and Parx. In addition, the company has sharpened its brand positioning in apparel business and done away with the overlaps in the positioning of its different brands. Raymond brand is now positioned as classic premium, Park Avenue as contemporary premium, ColorPlus as smart casuals and Parx as economy casuals.

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