Mukesh Ambani waitlist Carlile, Softbank for Reliance Retail: Report


Investor demand for the retail business of Reliance Industries Ltd. is so strong that Carlyle Group Inc. and SoftBank Group Corp are among those who have been put on the waiting list, according to people familiar with the matter.

Carlyle and SoftBank recently expressed interest in Mukesh Ambani’s investment in Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd, with people stating that those not to be identified are private. People said that Reliance Industries has asked the two companies to wait on the sideline as the group is already in advanced talks with other financial investors.

Mr. Ambani is supporting his digital services business, which has done a business of $ 20 billion in recent months, as it seeks funding for Reliance Retail. Jio Platforms Ltd. Silver Lake Partners, an investor in the US, agreed to chip in $ 1 billion last week. Bloomberg News reported that other Jio investors, including private equity funds KKR & Co and L Catterton, are also considering investing.

Mubadala Investment Company of Abu Dhabi, a Jio investor, weighs in at about $ 750 million in Reliance Retail. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund are also planning investments.

The strong response from financial investors of Jio means that others are not enough. Reliance Industries plans to sell about 10% stake in Reliance Retail to financial investors and nearly all of its $ 5.7 billion shares have been raised, people said.

Largest allocation Amazon.com Inc. Is reserved for, Bloomberg News reported last week. Mr. Ambani is offering to sell a $ 20 billion stake in the retail business to a US tech giant, which could be as high as a 40 percent stake. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, a deal, if successful, would be the largest for India as well as Amazon.

People said that potential investors including Carlyle and SoftBank should still join hands in Reliance Retail shares. People said that the talks are continuing and may still be delayed or separated.

Representatives from Reliance, Carlyle, Softbank, ADIA and Mubadala declined to comment, while PIF representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mr. Ambani has identified technology and retail as far-future sectors from energy businesses inherited from his father, who died in 2002. Retail is the next front for the 63-year-old Indian tycoon, whose ambitions include home-grown e-commerce giants like China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

This year, shares of Reliance Industries have gained about 54 percent, taking the market value of the company to about $ 207 billion.

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