The Aditya Birla Group has restructured its retail business by merging Madura Fashion & Lifestyle with Pantaloon to create the India’s largest branded apparel company. Pantaloon, a listed entity, will be renamed Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail, and have a combined turnover of around ₹5,290 crore. Madura sells brands such as Van Heusen, Louis Philippe and Allen Solley.
Future Retail Ltd has agreed to merge its retail operations with local rival Bharti Retail Ltd to create one of India’s biggest retail chains with more than 570 stores across the country.
Instant messaging pioneer BlackBerry aims to recover lost market share among business users by launching software that gives customers nine mobile numbers bundled into one SIM card. The software, WorkLife, allows customers to differentiate usage—Whatsapp, personal, business contacts, foreign travel—and get separate bills for each of them. Idea Cellular will be BlackBerry’s first partner in this tie-up that is expected to help manage telecom expenses, protect employee privacy and control company assets. For instance during foreign travel, using the virtual SIM, a user can get a local virtual connection and be billed in the local tariff rate.
Kazi Nazrul Islam airport in West Bengal’s Andal is India’s first private greenfield airport. It has been set up in collaboration with the Changi International Airport, Singapore. On 10 May 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the first passenger to fly out of the Kazi Nazrul Islam airport. The 650-acre airport is the centrepiece of the ₹10,000 crore Aerotropolis, an ambitious township project in the Durgapur-Andal region.
Aditya Birla Group has agreed to acquire the hypermarket business of Jubilant Industries, which operates under the Total Superstore brand, in a slump sale all-cash deal.
NRI billionaire Lakshmi Mittal-led ArcelorMittal has partnered with PSU giant SAIL to set up an automotive steel plant with an estimated ₹5,000 crore investment, taking a fresh shot at entering India after nearly a decade-long wait for its earlier projects to take off.