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Details emerge of new Internaçionale owner

A company with links to Indian retail and supply giant SKNL has emerged as the new owner of value fashion multipleInternaçionale, former sister chain of Au Naturale.

According to accounts filed at Companies House, a firm called Timec 1169 has changed its name to Internaçionale Retail.

Martin Henry, a non-executive director of premium menswear brand and textile business Taylor & Reid, which is majority owned by SKNL, has been appointed a director of Internaçionale Retail. Henry is understood to have strong links with SKNL, but it is unclear as to the nature of the Indian firm’s involvement in the deal.

A source close to SKNL said: “The company is acquiring businesses and has aggressive growth plans, and the UK is a logical market for them. They will look at their ability to supply the firms they acquire with cost-effective textiles.”

Mark Evans, the managing director of Internaçionale before it was bought earlier this month, has also been made a director of Internaçionale Retail.

SKNL is the third international supplier linked to a UK fashion retail chain in recent months. Indian supplier Alok bought value retailer QS, which it is rebranding to Store 21, while Cafer Mahiroglu, the owner of a Turkish-based supply group, rescued Select earlier this year. Young fashion chain Atlantic Fashions is also thought to have been bought by a mystery overseas supplier.

One expert in the Indian retail market said: “SKNL is in the top five if not top three biggest textiles companies in India. Indian businesses look at the UK and see the opportunity to leverage their sourcing expertise and get good margins.”

The Mumbai-based business was founded in 1948 by two brothers, Abhayakumar and Shambukumar Kasliwal. In addition to manufacturing, the company has franchise stores including for Dunhill in India.

SKNL, which is listed on the Mumbai stock exchange, updated the market on trading this week but made no reference to Internaçionale. Its profits were INR625.3 million (£7.4m) on sales of INR5.26bn (£63m) for the quarter ended March.

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