Reliance Retail dismisses Amazon deal speculations

By Backend Office, Desk Reporter
Reliance Industries
Representational Image

Indian conglomerate Reliance has dismissed a claim that it is preparing to sell a $20 billion stake in its retail company to US competitor Amazon.

It was earlier reported that Reliance, owned by Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, had offered Amazon a 40% stake in its retail subsidiary.

The deal, which, according to reports, would have been the biggest for the country and the Silicon Valley, would have shaken the retail market, transforming the relationship between the two businesses that have spent months in furious competition.

The news had sent the shares of Reliance up by 7%.

But the oil-to-telecoms giant rejected the report, calling it “incorrect.” “It makes no sense for both the parties to establish partnerships or collaborations,” said a source from Reliance familiar with the matter.

Amazon did not offer any comments.

Reliance has been battling Amazon and Walmart-backed Flipkart for a share of India’s online market and had set up its JioMart digital platform in May this year.

After spending years fighting local mom-and-pop shops (locally owned neighborhood stores) for customers, retail giants are now trying to work hand-in-hand with smaller stores that dominate Indian towns and rural regions to get them online.

Last month, Reliance announced its acquisition of retail, wholesale and logistics business from India’s Future Group, which owns some of the country’s best-known supermarket brands, adding more than 1,800 stores to its portfolio.