Another month, another acquisition. Looks like there is no stopping Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), which started in 1973 by Dhirubhai Ambani as a polyester business, later expanded into textile business, petroleum sector, chemical industry, mobile communication segment, food retail industry, etc. RIL is now one of the largest conglomerates in the world, having its product portfolio across almost every sector possible. RIL recently acquired Fynd (online shopping), Embibe (edtech content), Saavn(music content), Hamleys(toy retailer), Netmeds (onliene pharmacy), Asteria Aerospace (robotics and artificial intelligence company), Haptik (customer engagement), Hathway (broadband), DEN (cable) and many other companies across segments. In the past three years alone, the conglomerate has made acquisitions worth US $ 3 billion and this is excluding its most recent acquisition. According to Morgan Stanley Research report, out of the US $ 3 billion invested for acquisitions across various verticals, US $ 566 million were put in media and education sector, US $ 194 million in retail sector, US $ 1.2 billion in telecom and internet firms, US $ 100 million in digital and US $ 391 in the chemicals and energy space.
Enter 2021 and RIL announced another major acquisition – the firm rebranded its sports and lifestyle business IMG Reliance Ltd to RISE Worldwide Ltd after buying out shares of IMG Reliance from IMG Singapore Pte Ltd, in cash. And going forward, it becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries. This new entity or rather rebranded entity, RISE Worldwide will continue to drive the full portfolio of brand properties which were formerly owned and operated under the partnership called IMG Reliance Ltd, which was an equal joint venture between RIL and IMG Worldwide, an international sports marketing and management company, formed in 2010 to develop, market and manage sports and entertainment in India. RIL acquired 50% stake in IMG Worldwide for Rs.52.08 crore in cash.
Conceptualised with the belief ‘Together We RISE as 1’, RISE Worldwide’s motto represents the passion, positivity, optimism and leadership of a young India, globally. The portfolio under RISE Worldwide includes sports and sponsorship consulting, fashion and sustainability platform building, athlete talent management, licensing, broadcast production, lifestyle and entertainment with properties such as Hero Indian Super League, Lakme Fashion Week, Tata Open Maharashtra, Jio Wonderland, The Voice of Fashion, SU.RE Sustainable Resolution and others.
In a statement released by the entity, RISE Worldwide spokesperson said, “RISE Worldwide aims to provide a comprehensive solution to the sports, lifestyle and entertainment industries as one inclusive force creating a symbiotic ecosystem that engages in nation building by inspiring the youth through our various initiatives. We look forward to this dawn with new zeal and a DNA imbibed to RISE. Built on our existing relationships, trust and the knowledge of the industry, RISE seeks to help partners reach their target audience effectively as we bring their creative initiatives to life and provide consumers with world class experiences across each of our properties.”
RISE Worldwide’s athlete talent management division includes cricketers such as Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer and Krunal Pandya. The sports sponsorship and consultancy division represents brands like Dream11, boAt, BKT Tires, etc. in India and abroad. The company was also selected to exclusively market the global virtual inventory of the recently concluded Indian Cricket Team’s tour of Australia and is looking at engaging in sports production contracts as well across the world.
IMG Reliance had a turnover of Rs.181.70 crore with net profit at Rs.16.35 crore in FY 2020, Rs.195.55 crore with net profit at Rs.19.25 crore in FY 2019, and Rs.158.26 crore with net profit at Rs.15.82 crore in FY 2018, respectively.