Radhika Parashar. Sputnik International
At a time when the global economy is struck by pandemic woes, India’s biggest industrialist Mukesh Ambani has been seeing huge investments in his Reliance Industries, one of India’s most valuable companies. In recent months, Ambani’s oil-to-telecom company has garnered investments worth over $15 billion from foreign firms.
Mukesh Ambani, who is currently the world’s seventh richest person, is considering selling 40 a percent stake in Reliance Retail worth $20 billion to online marketplace giant Amazon, headed by the world’s richest person Jeff Bezos, LiveMint reported on Thursday citing sources familiar with the matter.
Both Reliance and Amazon are currently in the initial stages of talks and there was no immediate official statement confirming or denying the rumours from either of the companies.
If everything falls in place, at $20 billion, the deal would put a twist on the otherwise competitive rivalry that reportedly exists between Bezos and Ambani.
With Reliance Retail, 63-year old Mumbai-based Ambani aims to empower India’s small and medium businesses digitally through his telecom network Jio. With 12,000 stores nationwide, Reliance Retail claims to serve 640 million customers in India.
Speculations about the potential Reliance-Amazon partnership come just a day after US-based equity firm Silver Lake Partners invested a whopping $1 billion to buy a 1.75 percent stake in Reliance Retail.
Earlier in 2020, Facebook invested $5.8 billion in the purchase of a 9.9 percent stake in Reliance Jio. At that time, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the collaboration would be beneficial for Indian businesses.
Search engine giant Google invested $4.5 billion in Jio Platforms in July and picked up a 7.7 percent stake in India’s largest telco with 387.5 million users.
Several other US-based equity firms have also made hefty investments in Reliance industries – which at the beginning of the year became India’s first and only company to have a market capitalisation of $160 billion.