KKR Invests in India’s Reliance Retail

New York-based investment firm KKR & Co. will invest 55 billion rupees, or $750 million, in Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd., taking the company’s rush to grow in the post-pandemic market a notch further.

KKR will get a 1.28 percent stake in Reliance Retail Ventures, according to a company statement, in which chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani noted that he welcomed the new investor “as we continue our onward march to growing and transforming the Indian retail ecosystem for the benefit of all Indians.”

Reliance Retail Ltd., a subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures, has more than 12,000 stores nationwide and made a huge acquisition last month, adding more than 1,700 stores in a $3.38 billion transaction with one of India’s largest retailers, Future Group, adding strength in terms of fashion, footwear, food and more.

Earlier this month, Forbes ranked Ambani the fifth richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $88 billion.

This is a second partnership for KKR with the Reliance Industries group in the last few months, as the company has been growing it’s Jio platform for telecommunications, in which KKR invested $1.5 billion in July. Industry analysts see this as a move to widen the e-commerce retail platform, Jio Mart.

The Jio platform brought in an investment of more than $20 billion this year, including investments from Facebook, Google and other international investors.

Reliance Industries Ltd. had a turnover of $87.1 billion in its most recent fiscal years and has interests in oil, telecoms, retail and other industries.

Henry Kravis, cofounder and co-chief executive officer of KKR, said in a statement, “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. 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.”

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