July 26 (Reuters) – Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is in talks to buy a minority stake in the retail arm of Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate Reliance Industries (RELI.NS), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
The Qatar Investment Authority is considering a $1-billion investment in Reliance Retail Ventures, for a stake of about 1%, valuing the business at around $100 billion, the reportsaid, citing three people with knowledge of the discussions.
The report sent shares of its parent Reliance Industries (RELI.NS) up as much as 2.1%, its biggest percentage jump in over a week.
Reuters had reported earlier this month that Reliance Retail, fully owned by Reliance Retail Ventures, was valued at $92-$96 billion by two global consultants, a move that could signal an eventual initial public offering (IPO).
Ambani had said he planned to list his retail operations at some point but was yet to give a timeline or details of his plans.
Reliance Retail Ventures houses retail operations such as international partnerships and consumer goods business.
Reliance Retail, headed by the billionaire’s daughter Isha Ambani, has core retail businesses that include digital and brick-and-mortar stores.
It has partnered, in recent years, with a slew of global brands like Burberry, Pret A Manger and Tiffany to launch and expand their presence in India.
The Qatari sovereign wealth fund had not yet approved the deal, which itself has not been finalised yet and might change, the FT report added.
Both QIA and Reliance Retail Ventures did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.
In 2020, Reliance Retail Ventures raised 472.65 billion rupees ($5.77 billion) by selling a 10.09% stake to investors including U.S. private equity firms KKR and General Atlantic, the Saudi Public Investment Fund and the UAE’s Mubadala.
($1 = 81.9730 Indian rupees)
Reporting by Rama Venkat and Juby Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Sohini Goswami
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