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Loro Piana plans India foray

Famed for its superfine cashmere and vicuna, the Italian textiles and clothing company Loro Piana SpA is now poised to enter India. It has opted for a 51% stake in a joint venture called LP Retail (via its Swiss arm Loro Piana SA) with the Kishor Bajaj-promoted Bada Saab Design, the master franchisee of another legendary Italian brand, Brioni, in India.
“Loro Piana is entering India through single brand retail window by which it would hold 51% equity in the JV company. All Loro Piana products would be sold under the single brand name — Loro Piana in India,” a source close to the development said. According to Press Note 3 of 2006 series, FDI up to 51% in retail trade of single brand products is permissible with prior government approval subject to the conditions that the products to be sold in India should be of a single brand which the foreign company uses in the international market.
The privately-owned Loro Piana group, with 113 stores world-wide — including US and Europe — is divided into textile and retail divisions. For much of its 194 years, it has made fabrics for top fashion brands, but ventured into the world of retailing suits, overcoats and sweaters around a decade ago and more recently, home furnishings too.
Now, the latter accounts for around two-thirds of its total sales, totting up e243 million out of a total of e420 million in sales in 2007.
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