Mumbai: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, or PIF, plans to invest about $1.3 billion in Mukesh Ambani’s retail unit as Asia’s richest man continues to add marquee backers in a fundraising spree that has now surpassed $6.4 billion.
The sovereign wealth fund will pick a 2.04% stake in Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd. for 95.55 billion rupees ($1.3 billion), parent Reliance Industries Ltd. said in an exchange filing Thursday. The stake sale values India’s largest retailer at about $62.4 billion, it said.
|Investor||Date Announced||Amount (INR Billions)||Stake (%)|
|General Atlantic||Sept. 30||36.8||0.84|
|KKR & Co.||Sept. 23||55.5||1.28|
|Silver Lake +co-investors||Sept. 9, 30||93.8||2.13|
Source: Company Filings
- This will be the third investment for PIF in the conglomerate, helmed by Ambani, 63, as he seeks to transform Reliance Industries into a retail and technology behemoth and pivot away from its staple oil-refining business that he inherited in 2002.
- The deal caps an active year for the PIF, which was transformed from a sleepy domestic focused holding company into an international investor, as part of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s plans to pare the economy’s reliance on oil sales.
- The west Asian nation is also investing a lot in building ties with India, a key market for its crude oil. Reliance has been in talks with Saudi Aramco for a stake sale in its refinery unit, although the transaction is yet to fructify.
- For Reliance, this deal underscores investors’ faith in Ambani’s ability to tap growth in offline and online retail in the country of a billion-plus consumers.
- The transaction also builds on Reliance’s runaway success in raising more than $20 billion by selling about 33% of its technology venture, Jio Platforms Ltd., to investors including Facebook Inc. and Google.
- Investor demand to buy into Ambani’s retail unit has been so strong that the group had to put some investors such as Carlyle Group Inc. and Softbank Group Corp. on a waitlist, people familiar with the matter had said in September.
- Shares of Reliance Industries have soared 30% this year while the broader gauge S&P BSE Sensex has gained 0.2%.