Reliance Retail Ventures raises $6.2bn in two months

It operates almost 12,000 stores in nearly 7,000 towns

A Reliance Digital store in Mumbai, India, on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd., which obliterated rivals in India's telecommunications sector by selling $2 data plans and free voice calls, is deploying a very similar tactic -- cutthroat pricing -- to gain an edge in the country's increasingly competitive e-commerce space. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg
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Reliance Industries’ retail arm said it has raised 472.6 billion Indian rupees ($6.2bn) for a 10.09 per cent stake in the company from a group of investors in the past two months.

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC, global private equity firm TPG Capital, Abu Dhabi's strategic investment arm Mubadala Investment Company and General Atlantic are among investors who have bought stakes in Reliance Retail Ventures.

All investments are “completed, with receipt of funds and issue of shares”, the company said. It allotted more than 692.7 million equity shares to its partners.

“We are proud to have such strong and reputed partners … we feel honoured by the phenomenal interest shown by investors in our business and look forward to working with our partners to benefit from their experience and global connectivity,” Isha Mukesh Ambani, director of Reliance Retail Ventures, said.

“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,” she added.

New York-based financial services company Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisor to Reliance Retail Ventures and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Davis Polk and Wardwell acted as legal counsels.

Reliance Retail Ventures runs India’s largest consumer electronics chain, supermarkets, a cash and carry wholesaler, fast fashion outlets and JioMart, an online grocery store.

The company operates almost 12,000 stores in nearly 7,000 towns and reported consolidated revenue of $21.7bn and net profit of $726.4 million in its reporting period ending in March 2020.

India's retail sector is forecast to grow in size to $1.7 trillion by 2026 from $950bn in 2018, according to Statista.

Reliance is looking to grow its market share by consolidating the country's fragmented retail sector, offering to digitise operations of small and unorganised merchants and to partner with global and domestic chains.

The company recently bought the retail and wholesale businesses of competitor Future Group that also included its logistics and warehousing units.

Future Group owns about 2,000 retail stores across 400 cities and towns in India.