Adding Hamleys would give Reliance 167 stores across 18 countries. The company is already a master franchisee of the toy store in India, where it operates 88 outlets.
For Hong Kong-listed C.Banner, the sale would mark a retreat from Britain after the Chinese company last year dropped plans to purchase a majority stake in House of Fraser, a struggling department store chain that was rescued by Sports Direct International.
In 2015, C. Banner paid £100 million ($186 million) for Hamleys, which was founded in 1760 and opened its London flagship store in 1881.
Mukesh Ambani is the world’s 13-richest man with an estimated personal fortune of $US50.8 billion ($72.6 billion), according to Forbes Magazine. His $US90 billion oil and gas giant Reliance Industries is one of India’s biggest companies.
Ambani is stitching together a network of partners through stake purchases or outright acquisitions in the race with Amazon and Walmart for a slice of India’s growing online shopping market, which Morgan Stanley estimates will be valued at $US200 billion by 2028.