(Bloomberg) — General Atlantic will invest 36.8 billion rupees ($498 million) in billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s retail venture as Asia’s richest man continues to garner funds after securing more than $20 billion for his digital services unit earlier this year.
The private equity firm will hold a 0.84% stake in Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd., according to an exchange filing Wednesday, giving the business a pre-money equity value of 4.29 trillion rupees. Shares of the parent, Reliance Industries Ltd., jumped as much as 5.6% during trading in Mumbai Wednesday after the deal was announced.
The deal follows U.S. private equity group KKR & Co.’s $754 million investment and Silver Lake Partner’s $1 billion investment this month in the unit. Ambani has been increasing his focus on consumer businesses to tap the growth in both offline and online retail in India’s market of billion-plus consumers.
In his pivot toward technology and retail — away from the group’s staple oil-refining business — Ambani, 63, has raised more than $20 billion by selling stakes in Jio Platforms Ltd., his digital services unit. Investors including Facebook Inc. and Google bought a combined 33% in that venture this year.
After $20 Billion Jio Frenzy, Ambani Seeks Money for Retail
Like KKR and Silver Lake’s investments in Reliance Retail, this infusion makes General Atlantic a repeat investor in Ambani’s consumer businesses. The New York-based private equity firm had invested $873 million in Jio Platforms to pick up a 1.3% stake in May.
Reliance is also said to have offered a $20 billion stake in its retail unit to Amazon.com Inc., a person familiar with the matter said in September. If successful, this would be the biggest ever deal for the American etailer as well as India.
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 in revenue in the year through March 2020. The unit operates almost 12,000 stores in nearly 7,000 towns.
(Updates with Reliance’s share price in the second paragraph and context throughout.)
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