World’s fifth largest watchmaker Titan, is gearing up to get its jewellery business Tanishq back on growth track. After reporting a disappointing 4th quarter result, the company is hence eyeing an acquisition of Tiger Global-backed online jewellery store, Caratlane.
The same was revealed by Titan in a filing, which further stated that the acquisition is expected to close by mid June 2016. The filing read,
The Company is proposing to acquire majority stake with control over the target entity. However, the exact number of shares to be acquired is in discussion and not yet finalized.
Titan, which makes watches under that same brand name, as well as under Fastrack, has been under pressure for quite some time now, largely due to its inability to appeal to the younger populace. More so, Tanishq, its once-famed jewellery brand too is falling behind due to the very same reason. Caratlane could add, juts the breath of fresh air Titan was looking for, and make the entire offering, more youth appealing.
Caratlane, which operates a decently popular online jewellery store, also has 13 offline retail stores across country. Talking about this deal, Titan’s managing director Bhaskar Bhat said,
We believe it is a perfect compliment to both online and brick-and-mortar businesses.
The acquisition is being largely attributed to Titan’s falling sales. A larger concern is the dip in sales of Tanishq, the jewellery brand which earns the company, three-fourths of its entire revenue. In January, Titan warned investors it expected to take a negative hit of about Rs.500 crore in 2015-16 due to a new government rule requiring jewellery shoppers to furnish their permanent account number for transactions above Rs.2 lakh.
Titan is yet to finalize the terms of the deal. It informed the bourses on Friday that it expects to close the deal with the Tiger Global-funded online jewellery start-up by June.
Interestingly, one of the online commerce jewellery platforms Caratlane (and subsequently Titan) will compete from, is Bluestone. Whats interesting, is the fact that Bluestone is backed by Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus Tata Sons, Titan’s parent company.
According to a report in Business Standard, the deal would also be an exit for Tiger Global, which has invested several rounds of funding into Carat Lane. The nine-year old startup has seen close to $52 Million being pumped into the company, ever since it started operations (via Crunchbase).