Reliance Industries Ltd on Thursday said its retail arm had completed its fundraising exercise as more than half a dozen investors poured Rs 47,265 Crore ($6.37 billion) for 10.09 per cent stake in the company in two months. Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL) began raising capital in September, with U.S.-based private equity firm Silver Lake Partners pumping Rs 7,500 crore for 1.6 per cent of the venture. The eight other investors in RRVL include Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, private equity firm KKR & Co Inc, Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Investment Co and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
The funds will help Reliance, India’s biggest retailer with roughly 12,000 stores, to aggressively expand its so-called new commerce venture, which ties neighbourhood stores to Reliance for online deliveries of groceries, apparel, and electronics in a space currently dominated by Walmart Inc’ s Flipkart and Amazon.com Inc’s Indian arm.
“With our focus on New Commerce, we are committed to playing a transformational role in the Indian retail sector by empowering millions of merchants and micro, small and medium enterprises,” RRVL director Isha Mukesh Ambani said in a statement. Isha is the daughter of Asia’s richest man and Reliance’s chairman, Mukesh Ambani.
Mumbai-headquartered Reliance in August announced it would buy retail, logistics and other assets from Future Group for $3.4 billion including debt. Amazon has challenged that deal, alleging Future breached certain contract provisions it entered into last year in a separate deal with the U.S. e-commerce giant.
Reliance, an oil-to-retail conglomerate, earlier this year raised just over $20 billion from global investors, including Facebook Inc, by selling stakes in its Jio Platforms digital business. Telecoms venture Jio, the mainstay of Jio Platforms, is India’s biggest telecoms company with more than 402 subscribers at end-August.