Woodland to foothold first overseas acquisition

Monday, 21 May 2012

Aero Group, makers of Woodland brand of footwear and apparel, is in talks for its first overseas acquisition and may induct a strategic partner for its international operations. The company is said to be in talks with three different companies specialised in functional footwear, apparel and accessories in South East Asia and Australia.

While, the company is currently raising funds internally for the first acquisition, it is also planning to consider raising funds through private equity funds or opt for strategic partners in the near future to fund its overseas expansion plans.

Woodland began test-marketing its products in Hong Kong and China about six months ago. The brand plans to step up its presence in these countries this fiscal. Aero Group also plans to set up a franchisee model for Woodland stores, particularly in the overseas locations. So far, most of Woodland stores in India have been company-owned. Currently, exports account for about one-fourth of the Woodland’s revenues of over Rs 700 crores.

Woodland kicked off India operations in 1992. It tried to differentiate itself as a maker of rugged outdoor sports footwear. Woodland products are available at over 300 exclusive stores and 3,000-plus multi-brand outlets across the globe. Recently they also announced their plans to introduce adventure apparel gear for teens this year. Woodland’s parent company, Aero Group, has been a well-known name in the outdoor shoe industry since the early 50s. It quickly gained popularity due to its unwavering commitment to quality and the introduction of the latest designs. Today, Aero Group is a highly integrated firm with its own leather tanning units and production facilities in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Macau and Canada.

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