Business News

Samara Capital and Amazon invest $300 million in more retail

Amazon and Samara Capital, who jointly own food and grocery retail chain More Retail, have pumped Rs 300 crore capital into the company this fiscal till now with the last round of infusion happening earlier this month, as per latest regulatory filings.

More Retail’s holding company is Witzig Advisory Services which is 49% owned by Amazon and 51% by Samara Alternate Investment Fund. The filings to the Registrar of Companies (RoC) shows there has been a capital infusion into Witzig Advisory on January 12, which in turn on the same day pumped money into More Retail. The last round of capital infusion was for Rs 100 crore.

However, More Retail did not attribute any reason for the capital infusion in the recent filings. An email sent to More Retail remained unanswered till Thursday press time.

In fiscal year 2021-22, More Retail’s net loss widened four times to Rs 402 crore from Rs 78 crore in the previous year while its revenue grew marginally by 2% on year at Rs 4,867 crore. The accumulated loss as on March 31, 2022, was Rs 1,039.3 crore.

“The recent infusions are likely to help More Retail with ongoing operations, however, what the company really needs is a strategic overhaul that can bring it back on the path to profitability,” said Mohit Yadav, founder at business intelligence firm AltInfo.

More Retail management has recently told ET that the company is planning for an initial public offering over the next 12-18 months. In separate filings to RoC earlier this fiscal, More Retail had said the company is expanding and the management believes that the net current liabilities of Rs 559.86 crore will be bridged mainly through additional funding by the holding company, banks and internal accruals.

Last fiscal, the retailer had received Rs 400 crore funding from the owners.

More Retail had told ET in September that it operates 881 supermarkets and 42 hypermarkets with plans to set up around 100 new stores, including ten hypermarkets, this fiscal. Last fiscal, it had opened 129 supermarkets and 11 hypermarkets.

As per its RoC filings, food groceries including staples accounts for 54% of More’s total sales followed by non-food groceries at 20% and fresh products at 18%. It also sells apparel and general merchandise.

More in the filings said it has chalked out a “profitable growth strategy” driven by ecommerce expansion and rollout of new stores in current and new markets, sustainable operating model with strong backend support to ensure timely and consistently high availability, and tight control on margin earnings and overhead costs.

The company was incubated by Aditya Birla Group in 2006. It was acquired by Witzig in 2019.

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