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Business deals

India's Reliance signs franchise deal with luxury label Balenciaga

Mukesh Ambani's retail unit already working with Valentino, Gap

Mukesh Ambani, one of India's richest men, is targeting India's luxury customers.   © Reuters

MUMBAI (Reuters) -- A unit of India's Reliance Group said on Thursday that it had sealed a long-term franchise deal with French fashion house Balenciaga, the latest in a flurry of agreements the conglomerate has signed with high-end brands.

Reliance Brands Ltd (RBL), an arm of the conglomerate that also runs India's biggest retail chain, said in a statement that it would be Balenciaga's sole partner in India.

"It's the most opportune time to introduce the brand to the country as the Indian luxury customer has matured and [is] using fashion as a form of creative expression of their individuality" Darshan Mehta, managing director of RBL, said in the statement.

Reliance, run by one of India's richest men, Mukesh Ambani, has been on a deal-making spree, signing franchise agreements with brands like Valentino, Gap and British coffee and sandwich chain Pret A Manager.

Targeting growth in luxury, Reliance is building a mall with dozens of outlets for powerhouse brands from Louis Vuitton to Gucci, documents reviewed by Reuters showed in April.

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