Reliance buys famous UK toy retailer Hamleys

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Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, left, listens to Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma at the 83rd Annual General Meeting of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, March 1, 2011. (AP Photo/ Mustafa Quraishi)

An Indian company says it has agreed to take over the famous toy retailer Hamleys.

Reliance Brands in Mumbai said in a statement Thursday that it would buy Hamleys Global Holdings, the owner of the Hamleys brand, from C Banner International of Hong Kong for an undisclosed sum.

The deal would include the flagship Hamleys store on London’s Regent Street, which opened in 1881 and remains a tourist attraction in the British capital.

Hamleys was founded in 1760 and has 167 stores in 18 countries. Reliance Brands already had the franchise for 88 Hamleys stores in India.

Reliance Brands Chief Executive Darshan Mehta said the acquisition places the company in the “forefront of global retail.” It is part of Reliance Industries, whose chairman is the Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani.