Reliance Industries has closed a deal to buy the retail business of Kishore Biyani’s Future Group for Rs 27,000 crore. With this deal, Mukesh Ambani will emerge as a one-sided king in the retail sector. Future Retail, Future Consumer, Future Lifestyle, Fashion, Future Supply Chain, and Future Market Network will be merged into Future Enterprises with the Future Group now being owned by Mukesh Ambani.
As a part of the deal, Future Group’s listed companies such as Big Bazaar, Foodhall, Eucalyptus, FBB, Central, Heritage Foods, and Brand Factory will be part of the fashion and grocery retail format, apparel brand Lee Cooper and All-Barring RIL. Negotiations on the deal began earlier this year. Earlier, Biyani also held discussions with several other potential investors. Big companies such as US-based retail giant Amazon had also shown interest in Future Group, but a deal with RIL has completely resolved Biyani’s debt issues.
The Future Retail Group has been active in the retail business since the late 1980s. It was during that time that the group set up an organized retail business. In 1991, its head Kishore Biyani named his company Pantaloons Fashion. In 2001 the company opened Big Bazaar stores across the country.