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Saturday, Nov 11, 2006

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Raymond, Italian co Grotto to set up 50:50 joint venture

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`GAS' brand to be launched in India

NEW LAUNCH: Mr Pradeep Bhandari (left), Group President & Wholetime Director, Raymond Ltd, and Mr Aldo Palmeri, Vice-Chairman & Member on the Board of Grotto S.p.A, at a press meet in Mumbai on Friday. - Shashi Ashiwal

Mumbai , Nov. 10

Textile and apparel major Raymond Ltd has entered into a 50:50 joint venture with the Italy-based Grotto S.p.A. to launch the `GAS' brand in India.

Raymond and Grotto will together invest Rs 50 crore over the next three years to set up a distribution chain to sell GAS products in India.

"By the end of three years, we aim having 600 retail points for GAS, including its flagship stores, exclusive franchise stores, large format stores, and multi-brand department store outlets," said Mr Pradeep Kumar Bhandari, Group President and Whole-time Director, Raymond Ltd.

Mr Bhandari added the company expects to reach an annual revenue of Rs 125 crore by the end of three years. "We are pleased to partner with Raymond Ltd to form this joint venture in the pursuit of establishing the GAS brand in one of the most upcoming and strategic markets of the world. Our association with Raymond would help GAS to capture a large market share in India, giving it an instant recognition amongst the young consumers in this country," said Mr Aldo Palmeri, Vice-Chairman and Member on the Board of Grotto S.p.A.

The first flagship store is expected to open by early 2007.

"Right now, we are looking at distribution in the Indian market. In the future, we will look to manufacture in India as well," said Mr Palmeri.

The current annual revenue from GAS is about 160 million, of which 60 per cent is from sales in Italy and the rest from exports.

Raymond's shares rose by 1.48 per cent to close at Rs 444.45 on the BSE.

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