Carlyle, SoftBank on Ambani's waiting list for Reliance Retail stakes
Investor demand for Reliance Industries' retail business is so strong that Carlyle Group Inc. and SoftBank Group Corp. are among those that have been put onto a waiting list, according to people familiar with the matter.
Carlyle and SoftBank have recently expressed interest in investing in Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail Ventures, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.
Reliance Industries has asked the two companies to wait on the sideline since the Indian conglomerate is already in advanced talks with other financial investors, the people said.
Ambani is tapping the backers of his digital services business, which has secured $20 billion in recent months, as he seeks funding for Reliance Retail. Silver Lake Partners, an investor in Jio Platforms, last week agreed to chip in $1 billion. Other Jio investors, including private equity funds KKR & Co. and L Catterton, are also considering investing, as per a news report.
Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co., which is a Jio investor as well, is weighing an investment of about $750 million in Reliance Retail, the people said. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund are also mulling investments, one of the people said.
The strong response from Jio’s financial investors means there’s not enough for others. Reliance Industries plans to sell about a 10% stake in Reliance Retail to financial investors and almost all the $5.7 billion worth of shares have been taken up, the people said.
The largest allocation is reserved for Amazon.com Inc., Bloomberg News reported last week. Ambani is offering to sell a roughly $20 billion stake in the retail business to the U.S. tech giant, which could be equivalent to as much as a 40% holding. A deal, if successful, would be the biggest ever in India as well as for Amazon, according to data compiled a news item.