Reliance Retail Closes Over Rs. 47,200-Crore Fundraising From 10.09 Percent Stake Sale

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India’s Reliance on Thursday said its retail arm had completed its fundraising exercise as more than half a dozen investors poured Rs. 47,200 crores into a 10.09 percent stake in the company in two months.

Reliance Retail began raising capital in September, with US-based private equity firm Silver Lake pumping Rs. 7,500 crores for 1.6 percent of the venture.

The eight other investors in Reliance Retail include Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, private equity firm KKR, Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

The funds will help Reliance, India’s biggest retailer with roughly 12,000 stores, to aggressively expand its so-called new commerce venture, which ties neighbourhood stores to Reliance for online deliveries of groceries, apparel and electronics in a space currently dominated by Walmart’ s Flipkart and Amazon’s Indian arm.

“With our focus on New Commerce, we are committed to playing a transformational role in the Indian retail sector by empowering millions of merchants and micro, small and medium enterprises,” Reliance Retail director Isha Mukesh Ambani said in a statement.

Isha is the daughter of Asia’s richest man and Reliance’s chairman, Mukesh Ambani.

Mumbai-headquartered Reliance in August announced it would buy retail, logistics and other assets from Future Group for $3.4 billion (roughly Rs. 25,300 crores) including debt.

Amazon has challenged that deal, alleging Future breached certain contract provisions it entered into last year in a separate deal with the US e-commerce giant.

Reliance, an oil-to-retail conglomerate, earlier this year raised just over $20 billion (roughly Rs. 1,48,300 crores) from global investors, including Facebook, by selling stakes in its Jio Platforms digital business.

Telecoms venture Jio, the mainstay of Jio Platforms, is India’s biggest telecoms company with more than 402 million subscribers at end-August.

© Thomson Reuters 2020


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