Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Tata stake in Landmark book shops

Business Standard says: Tatas take a 76% stake in Landmark

In a disappointing news today, Landmark has sold out 76% stake to Tatas for Rs. 103.6 crores. Only a few months back there was a news item about Kotak iinvesting money in Landmark to help Landmark grow in other metros. However, that deal must have fallen through as there is no mention of that in the current news item.

Selling 76% stake at this stage and cashing out now indicates that the promoters (Hemu Ramiah and family) are not interested in independent control and aggressive expansion strategy.

In any case, Landmark has been moving away from a dedicated book store to selling just about everything - almost a supermarket. Very soon they may as well become just another Tata Super or Hyper market label.

India desperately needs sensible, country-wide dedicated bookshop chain, which has a presence in the top 100 cities and towns. I somehow doubt if Tatas would be interested in that.

We now have to look forward to Crosswords (majority owned by Shopper's Stop) and Corner (majority owned by DC Books) to provide this.


  1. Pantaloons were initially in the scene is what i read. Since Hemu & family wanted an all cash deal, it went to Tatas. Comparatively, Kishore Biyani is aggressive than the Tatas. Hope atleast you can bring in a better store from the Kizhakku staple.

  2. //In a disappointing news today, Landmark has sold out 76% stake to Tatas for Rs. 103.6 crores//

    when i read the news , i thought tata's suddent interest in retail book sales will only do good to the industry as a whole.

  3. sj: Tata's performance in rest of the retail sectors is nothing great.

    Any ambitious retailer should be out there in 200 cities/towns in India and then looking to grow to 1,000 towns. Not just looking at about 10 cities/towns.

    RPG group showed some spunk with their Foodworld, but has broken with its partner in this venture. So the growth is unclear there.

    Perhaps fresh thinking and FDI in retail will show us the way - if the Govt. can come up with adequate safeguards and convince the right and left.

  4. I feel sorry to hear this. Landmark was one of the decent bookshops in Chennai. Greed is the root of all evil.

  5. the name is crossword and not crosswords!