Radhakishan S. Damani, ace investor and promoter of hypermarket chain Dmart, has picked up a little over 2 per cent in Spencer’s, RP-SG Group’s retail venture. The news sent the Spencer’s Retail stock soaring on the bourses.
The shareholding pattern filed by Calcutta-based Spencer’s saw Damani holding a 2.09 per cent stake at the end of December 31, 2019.
The Spencer’s stock jumped after the disclosure hit the market and it closed at the day’s high, locked in at the 20 per cent upper circuit, gaining Rs 14.95 to close at Rs 89.70 on the NSE. The stock has been on gradual uptrend after hitting a 52-week low of Rs 53.75 on December 26, rising 66 per cent since then.
The Spencer’s management was not willing to go on record about the interest shown by Damani, who owns India’s largest retailer by market capitalisation, Avenue Supermart. However, a source close to RP-SG Group said the investment could be a reflection on the robust business model Spencer’s has been able to build.
Damani, an ace investor, holds minority stakes in many companies in his personal capacity or through entities controlled by him and his associates/family.
He holds a 26 per cent stake in tobacco maker VST Industries, 2.56 per cent in Tata Group’s apparel retail venture Trent, 4.63 per cent in express courier Blue Dart, 1.23 per cent in United Breweries, among several others.
Damani also holds a 56.38 per cent stake of Avenue Supermarts, which operates DMart stores in the western and southern states. The company, which he founded in 2002, clocked a Rs 19,916.25-crore turnover and Rs 936.35-crore profit in 2018-19.
In contrast, Spencer’s Retail clocked a Rs 2,187.19-crore turnover and Rs 7.19-crore in profit in the last fiscal. The company acquired Nature’s Basket, the premium food retailer from the house of Godrej, earlier this fiscal for Rs 300 crore to get a foothold in the Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore markets. There were 36 stores operating under the Nature’s Basket brand. Following the consolidation, Spencer’s managed to grow its topline but again slipped on profitability.
It added 40,000 sq ft of trading area during the first six months of this fiscal, an earning presentation by the company disclosed after declaring its second-quarter results.
Spencer’s Retail was part of CESC, the flagship of RP-SG Group, before it was demerged as part of the restructuring plan and became an independently listed entity. Promoters hold 54.7 per cent in the firm.