Ambani’s Reliance Retail completes fundraising after $6.37bn pours in

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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After more than half a dozen investors poured $6.37 billion into a 10.09 percent stake in the company in two months, India’s Reliance Industries Ltd said that its retail arm has completed its fundraising exercise.

It was in September that Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL) began raising capital. The US-based private equity company Silver Lake Partners became the first investor by pouring $1 billion for 1.6 percent of the venture.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), private equity company KKR & Co., Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Investment Company and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) are the eight other investors in RRVL.

The funds will support Reliance, India’s largest retailer with approximately 12,000 stores, to aggressively expand its so-called commerce trade venture, which connects neighborhood stores to Reliance for online delivery of food, 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,” RRVL director Isha Mukesh Ambani said in a statement. Ms. Isha is the daughter of the richest man in Asia and the chairman of Reliance, Mukesh Ambani.

In August, Reliance announced that it will buy the retail, logistics and other assets of India’s Future Group for $3.4 billion, including debt.

Amazon has disputed the deal, arguing that Future Group breached certain contract terms it entered into last year in a separate agreement with the US eCommerce giant.

By selling stakes in its Jio Platforms digital business, Reliance, an oil-to-retail conglomerate, raised just over $20 billion from global investors earlier this year including US-based social media giant Facebook.

The telecoms venture Jio, the backbone of Jio Networks, is India’s largest telecoms company with over 402 million subscribers.