Morgan Stanley Principal Investments, Blue Ridge China Partners and Citadel Investment Group announced that they have made a joint strategic investment of US$70 million in ITAT Group Limited for the rapid expansion of its retail chain membership and mega stores networks in China.
ITAT is a Hong Kong incorporated company and is principally engaged in the retailing of a wide range of high quality apparel, shoes and accessories for men and women under various different brand names and through its operated retail chain in China named ITAT International Premier Brand Membership Store and ITAT Store Prestige Super Club. With more than 100 self-owned brand names, ITAT adopts a "mass market" pricing strategy for the sale of quality and trendy merchandize with wide selection under a membership sale system.
Since the opening of its first Membership Store in September 2004, in just about two and a half years time, ITAT is now operating 343 Membership Stores and 8 Super Clubs throughout China, representing a total retailing area of 260,000 sqm and 3.5 million members.
The company says ITAT promotes the idea of "Harmonious business relationship and win-win strategy" by creating a unique and distinct business model which integrates the resources of merchandize suppliers and real estate owners in China with the goal of risks and profits sharing. ITAT differentiates itself from the conventional retail business model through its uniqueness in multi-parties collaboration, reduction of intermediaries, minimizing fixed cost structure, control of sales proceeds and risks management.
2007 will mark an era of rapid expansion for ITAT as it plans to open up to 1,000 Membership Stores and 60 Super Clubs to achieve an aggregate retailing area of 1.8 million square meters and 30 million members.
The success of ITAT business model captures the attention of international capital investors. Following the first round fundraising of US$50 million from Blue Ridge China Partners L.P. in 2006, ITAT has now completed a second round fundraising of US$70 million from three major international investors. This strong backing further enhances ITAT business platform and distribution network.