Reliance Retail may sell stakes worth $1 billion to Silver Lake

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Silver Lake Partners, a private equity company, is in the final stage of discussions to invest $1 billion in the retail arm of India’s Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), says sources.

Earlier this year, the US based Silver Lake had acquired a total of 2.08 percent of Reliance Industries’ share in its telecom and digital services unit, Jio.

The investment, which would value the retail giant at about $57 billion, comes as the country’s largest brick and mortar retail business plans to sell about 10% of new shares, the report added.

Reliance, an oil-to-telecoms conglomerate owned by India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, is building up its retail company as a formidable force in the second most populated country in the world, rapidly growing to attract potential investors.

The company has raised more than $20 billion from 13 global investors, including Silver Lake, Facebook, KKR, Google, Mubadala, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, PIF, TPG, L Catterton and Qualcomm by selling the stakes in its digital business, Jio Platforms.

After raising investments from overseas investors, Reliance Industries Limited is expected to open its retail doors to global partners. Earlier reports indicated that all investors in Jio Platforms were given the opportunity to invest in Reliance Retail.

At the end of last month, Reliance had announced that it will acquire the retail and logistics units of India’s Future Group in a $3.38 billion transaction, including debt.

The deal will boost Reliance’s retail presence and further strengthen its e-commerce ambitions to utilize the subscriber base of Jio’s mobile phone service and compete with existing market leaders in the country, Amazon and Flipkart.