Amazon Inc plans to buy 40 per stake in Reliance Retail. If successful, the deal would not only create a retail behemoth in India but will also turn Jeff Bezos and Mukesh Ambani into allies. The deal would help Amazon to realize its dream of selling from brick-and-mortar stores. On the other hand, it would help Reliance create an e-commerce giant for India akin to China’s Alibaba Group Holding. Reliance Retail has already lured about $1 billion from Silver Lake Partners, while US private equity firm KKR & Co is in advanced talks to invest at least $1 billion, and L Catterton is also considering investing.
Amazon’s investment in Reliance Retail ventures comes after the company raised $20 billion selling stakes in its technology venture -- Jio Platforms -- to investors including Facebook Inc. and Google. A unit of the energy-to-telecommunications conglomerate Reliance Industries, Reliance Retail 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.