Indian business tycoon Mukesh Ambani looks to add more power to his portfolio as Reliance Industries Ltd. has reportedly offered all the 13 financial and strategic investors of Jio platforms to buy stakes in Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd. (RRVL), LiveMint reports.
Due to FDI restrictions in India’s retail sector, RIL cannot exactly ‘partner’ with its investors, as foreign direct investment in multi-brand retailing being barred.
However, that is not going to stop Mukesh Ambani, who has decided to reach out to companies for financial and strategic partnerships, much like he did for Jio Platforms. Investors at Jio platforms, such as Google, KKR, Facebook, Silver Lake and TPG who helped Jio raise Rs. 1.5 trillion, have received this offer from RIL.
A senior retail consultant said, “Reliance Retail may follow the Jio Platforms model, onboarding multiple investors by selling stakes in the firm”. Last month, Mukesh Ambani hinted at this move, saying Reliance retail will look for global partners and investors for the company in the next few quarters.
Reliance retail has also made recent acquisitions in the business, acquiring a majority stake in India’s 2nd largest retail giant-Future Group. This move has left Reliance Retail inencumbered to expand its footprint in one of the biggest markets on the planet (numbers wise), and paired with Jio Platform’s Jio Mart, Reliance Retail stands a chance to become a prominent figure in every retail market in the country.
This is where companies like Facebook and Google come in, which can use their pre established infrastructure in the online retail market to help Reliance take up the battle against Amazon and Flipkart. Moreover, the companies have already shown that they have faith in Ambani’s vision, after they poured in $5.7 billion (Facebook) and $4.5 billion(Google) in the Jio Platforms venture.
The company had raised $20+billion, parting away with 33% of its equity stake. If we are to assume that Reliance Retail’s investment spree will come even close to that, a lot of high scale deals might be on the way. Financial Times had recently reported that Silver Lake is trying to buy a 10% stake in Reliance retail for $1 billion, with an enterprise valuation of $57 billion. If the talks materialis into something real, it could set of a multibillion dollar investment spree for India’s biggest retail company, and very well, change the course of the entire market.