After Jio Platforms, Reliance Retail now woos global investors


FILE PHOTO: India's richest man and oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani (R) along with his wife Nita Ambani (C) and mother Kokilaben (L) welcome guests as they arrive for the company's 42nd AGM in Mumbai on August 12, 2019. (Photo credit should read INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: India's richest man and oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani (R) along with his wife Nita Ambani (C) and mother Kokilaben (L) welcome guests as they arrive for the company's 42nd AGM in Mumbai on August 12, 2019. (Photo credit should read INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

US private equity firm Silver Lake Partners has invested $1 billion for 1.75 per cent stake in the retail arm of India’s Reliance Industries, valuing the firm at $57 billion.

This marks the second billion-dollar investment by Silver Lake in a Reliance Industries subsidiary after the $1.35 billion investment in Jio Platforms earlier this year.

Reports said that another US-firm KKR & Co. is in advanced talks to invest at least $1 billion in Reliance Retail Ventures.

Reliance operates India’s largest retail business of onset 12,000 stores nationwide with 640 million footfall.

Mukesh Ambani said that the extension of relationship with Silver Lake will add to its transformational efforts of building an inclusive partnership with millions of small merchants in the country.

“We believe technology will be key to bringing the much-needed transformation in this sector so that various constituents of the retail ecosystem can collaborate to build inclusive growth platforms. Silver Lake will be an invaluable partner in implementing our vision for Indian retail,” he said.

Reliance Industries, owned by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, raised about $20 billion selling stakes in his digital arm Jio Platforms to investors including Facebook Inc. and Google, a few weeks ago.

The deal jacks up the price of the third pillar of the $190 billion conglomerate, after energy and digital platform Jio, reported Reuters.

Reliance shares have roughly doubled since the company sketched out a deal with Saudi Aramco just over a year ago, putting a $75 billion valuation on its oil-to-chemicals business.

In April 2020, Facebook invested in Reliance’s digital arm, Jio Platforms, and then others including Silver Lake, KKR and Alphabet’s Google piled in. Private equity buyers gave it a valuation of about $70 billion at current exchange rates.

Reliance’s current market capitalisation stands at a slight premium to the total, even after factoring in the announced $3.4 billion acquisition of Kishore Biyani’s Future Group, reports said.