Montblanc, the maker of luxury writing instruments, and Tata Group company Titan have got government clearance for their single brand retail business in India.
The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) on Monday gave its nod to the Rs 33.55 crore 51:49 joint venture proposal, which will effectively end the current arrangement of the Dutch pen-maker with its only distributor in India, former cricketer Dilip Doshi.
“Montblanc Services Blank BV Netherlands will hold 51% and Titan Company limited will hold 49% to set up a JV company (to be incorporated) for undertaking single brand retailing of Montblanc products,” a finance ministry statement said.
Doshi, who had introduced the luxury products of Mont Blanc in India almost two decades ago, had filed a civil suit against the latter in a Rajkot court alleging fraud. His suit said the Swiss company resorted to “fraud to weaken business and misused confidential information” secured from Doshi’s firm.
Doshi had introduced Montblanc pens in India in the 1990s, and there are around 17 boutique stores across India, particularly in five-star hotels. But in March 2014, Montblanc reportedly snapped those ties and signed a joint venture with Titan Industries. Titan MD Bhaskar Bhat had last year said the already existing stores will be subsumed under the JV.
Amongst other FDI proposals cleared by the FIPB on Monday was the Rs 100-crore proposal of pharma firm La Renon Healthcare for investments in a brownfield project.
The inter-governmental panel chaired by the economic affairs secretary also cleared Blue Dart Express’s proposal to acquire shares in Blue Dart Aviation Ltd.