Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail might offer up 40% equity stake to Amazon in exchange for about $20 billion, a new Bloomberg report says. If the deal does come to fruition, apart from being one of the biggest in retail space globally, also has the potential to redefine retail in a country that still relies on kirana stores for most of its purchases.
As one would expect from a report like this, neither Amazon and Reliance has confirmed, nor denied anything, with Reliance sticking to their usual “Our company evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis,” response. However, this is not the first time that Amazon has piqued interest in turning Asia’s richest man from a foe to a friend, especially since e-retail is still a modicum of India’s vast retail market and a physical presence can help the company gain momentum in the growing market.
For Reliance, this move will help boost its new e-retail platform JioMart, which will gain the backing of the biggest ecommerce platform in the world.
The person who broke out the report said that Amazon is in fact interested in negotiating a potential transaction.
Reliance Retail has recently been on an expansion spree, much like its sister company Jio Platforms, making acquisitions and procuring investments. It recently acquired a majority stake in India’s second largest retail company-Future Group, and has also acquired $1.02 billion from Silver Lake in exchange for 1.75% stake in the company. This has led to many believing that the retail arm of Reliance Industries is taking the same route that Jio Platforms did, which raised upwards of $20 billion in the previous months. In fact, reports suggest that he has offered investors to become a part of a similar arrangement for Reliance Retail.