By Aditya Kalra, Hadeel Al Sayegh and Aftab Ahmed
NEW DELHI/DUBAI, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Investment Co is in advanced talks to invest up to $1 billion in the retail division of India’s Reliance Industries Ltd RELI.NS, two sources told Reuters, as investor interest in the Indian company surges.
Reliance Retail is on a fund raising spree and has secured around $1.8 billion in the past few weeks from KKR & Co KKR.N and Silver Lake Partners.
Reliance, controlled by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, has approached investors, who collectively pumped more than $20 billion into its Jio Platforms digital business this year, to take stakes in its retail business, which has nearly 12,000 stores and sells everything from groceries and electronics to fashion and shoes.
Mubadala invested around $1.2 billion in Jio Platforms and its executives have held extensive talks in recent weeks with Reliance for investing in its retail venture, several sources familiar with the talks said.
While one source said Mubadala “is ready with” $1 billion for Reliance Retail and doing due diligence, a second source said the talks were at an advanced stage and said the investment could be anywhere between $500 million and $1 billion.
A Reliance spokesman said the company cannot confirm or deny any transaction, adding: the “company evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis.”
Mubadala declined to comment. It is the second-biggest state investor in Abu Dhabi after Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, managing about $240 billion in assets.
For Mubadala, any further investment into Reliance will come months after it said it was under-invested in Asia and planned to expand its portfolio in the region.
STRONG INVESTOR INTEREST
Reliance is likely to soon announce a few investments into its retail unit, and those will be