Reliance Industries announced on Wednesday that US-based firm KKR will buy 1.28% equity stake in its retail arm, Reliance Retail, for Rs 5,550 crore. This investment gives Reliance Retail an equity value of Rs 4.21 lakh crore, the oil-telecom conglomerate said in a regulatory filing.
This is KKR’s second investment in Reliance Industries subsidiary. The US-based firm had bought 2.32% stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 11,367 crore in May. Earlier, private equity company Silver Lake Partners also said that it will buy 1.75% stake in Reliance Retail for Rs 7,500 crore.
After the announcement, Reliance Industries shares rose about 3%, opening at Rs 2,275 and touched an intra-day high of Rs 2,276.50 on the BSE.
“I am pleased to welcome KKR as an investor in Reliance Retail Ventures as we continue our onward march to growing and transforming the Indian retail ecosystem for the benefit of all Indians,” Reliance Industries Chairperson and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said. “KKR has a proven track record of being a valuable partner to industry-leading franchises and has been committed to India for many years.”
Co-founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of KKR Henry Kravis said he was pleased to deepen their relationship with Reliance Industries through the investment. “Reliance Retail’s new commerce platform is filling an important need for both consumers and small businesses as more Indian consumers move to shopping online and the company offers tools for Kiranas to be a critical part of the value chain,” Kravis said. “We are thrilled to support Reliance Retail in its mission to become India’s leading omnichannel retailer and ultimately to build a more inclusive Indian retail economy.”
KKR currently has approximately $5.1 billion in private equity investments across over 15 Indian companies, including Max Healthcare, Jio Platforms, JB Chemicals, Eurokids International and Ramky Enviro Engineers.
Various companies have this year invested in Reliance Industries, which has helped the conglomerate become net debt-free. “I have fulfilled my promise to the shareholders by making Reliance net-debt free much before our original schedule of March 31, 2021,” Ambani had said.
On July 15, Ambani had announced that Google will invest Rs 33,737 crore to buy a 7.7% stake in Jio Platforms – Reliance Industries’ digital arm. United States public multinational corporation Qualcomm had on July 13 invested Rs 730 crore in Jio Platforms. Then on July 3, Reliance announced that tech giant and electronic chip manufacturer Intel’s investment arm will buy a 0.39% stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 1,894 crore.
On June 8, Reliance Industries announced that the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority will buy 1.16% of its digital unit Jio Platforms for Rs 5,683.50 crore through a wholly-owned subsidiary. The investment came days after Abu Dhabi’s state fund Mubadala Investment Co announced it will invest Rs 9,093.60 crore in Jio Platforms, translating into an equity stake of 1.85% in the company.