Softlogic Acquires Odel as Otara & Siblings Exit!
Sri Lanka’s Softlogic Holdings Group acquired a 44.5% stake in the island’s home-grown fashion retailer Odel Plc this morning as the Founder Otara Gunawardena and her siblings Ajith Gunawardena and Ruchi Gunawardena sold out.
As at 30th June 2014, Otara held 80.8 mn shares, Ajit 39.4 mn whilst Ruchi held 1.0 mn shares in Odel Plc.Regional department store operator Parkson Retail Asia holds a 47.46 per cent stake in retailer Odel.
Odel celebrated 25 years of fashion retail yesterday. The business which began, incredibly, with the sale of export surplus clothing from the boot of founder Otara Gunewardene’s station wagon when she was in her early twenties, is now a chain of 20 fashion forward stores with annual sales in excess of Rs 4.6 billion.
Over the past two and a half decades Odel has emerged as an iconic department store and a brand that is often compared to Harrods and Harvey Nichols, and come to epitomize the definitive lifestyle and shopping experience in Sri Lanka. Odel recently disclosed plans to enter the Indian market with an aim to retail private labels under its fold through single brand outlets instead of offering the product range through multi-brand outlets.Softlogic Holdings is owned by billionaire businessman Ashok Pathirage, whose group has interests in healthcare and leisure sectors in the country amongst others.