KKR & Co. is in advanced talks to invest at least $1 billion in the retail business of billionaire Mukesh Ambani, according to people familiar with the matter, in what could be another US investment in the unit following Silver Lake Partners deal.
KKR is in discussions for a stake in Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd., the largest retailer in India, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The private equity firm could invest as much as $1.5 billion and an announcement could come as soon as this month, one of the people said.
Negotiations are ongoing and could be delayed or fall apart, the people said. Representatives for KKR and Reliance didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Weeks after Ambani, 63, raised a little over $20 billion selling stakes in his technology venture to investors including Facebook Inc. and Google, the tycoon is seeking to repeat the same with his retail business. Silver Lake Partners on Wednesday agreed to invest Rs 7,500 crore ($1 billion) into Reliance Retail Ventures, valuing the business at about 4.2 trillion rupees. The richest man in Asia is also boosting his grocery and apparel businesses through acquisitions.
Reliance Retail — a unit of the energy-to-telecommunications conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd. — runs supermarkets, India’s largest consumer electronics chain store, a cash and carry wholesaler, fast-fashion outlets and an online grocery store called JioMart. It reported 1.63 trillion rupees ($22 billion) in revenue in the year through March 2020. The unit operates almost 12,000 stores in nearly 7,000 towns.-The Hindu Business Line