Middle East Funds Eye Stakes in Reliance Retail: Report

Middle East sovereign wealth funds, including the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), are in talks to buy stakes in the retail arm of Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

ADIA is in discussions to invest about $750 million (roughly Rs. 5,507 crores) at a valuation of roughly $57 billion (roughly Rs. 418,838 crores), while PIF could funnel as much as $1.5 billion (roughly Rs. 1,1022 crores) into Reliance Retail, the FT said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Abu Dhabi investment firm Mubadala may also take a stake, according to the report.

ADIA and PIF declined to comment, while Mubadala and Reliance did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The discussions come as Reliance earlier in the day said US private equity firm Silver Lake will invest $1.02 billion (roughly Rs. 7,491 crores) in its retail business.

KKR is in advanced talks to invest at least $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,346 crores) in Reliance Retail, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

Reliance has been aggressively building its retail presence through acquisitions, moving beyond its mainstay oil and gas business. The company has said it aims to attract investors in Reliance Retail over the next few quarters.

The conglomerate has raised a little more than $20 billion (roughly Rs. 146,930 crores) from global investors, including Facebook, by selling stakes in its Jio Platforms digital business.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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