Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd's deal-making spree hasn't ended yet. After selling stake in Jio Platforms to global tech giants and other big investors, he's now eyeing multiple takeovers in tech and consumer business space. Reliance Industry is currently looking at investment in at least six different companies. Let's take a look at the list of companies RIL is in talks with for investment or future takeover.
RIL is in late-stage talks with Kishore Biyani-led Future Group to buy a controlling stake in its retail business, according to reports. The companies have supposedly reached a common accord regarding certain terms and conditions and a deal is likely to be announced soon. RIL might acquire Kishore Biyani-controlled Future Group's retail business for Rs 24,000-27,000 crore. RIL will also absorb Future Group's partnerships with foreign brands and retailers. The deal will make RIL the number one player in brick-and-mortar space in India across categories such as fashion, groceries, and merchandise.
Amid controversy around Chinese social media giant TikTok, its owner ByteDance is in early-stage talks with Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd to financially back its India business. Both the companies started discussions in July but the final decision on the deal is yet to be taken. The popular video-sharing app, along with 58 other apps, was banned in India on June 29 over national security and data privacy concerns.
Investment in TikTok by India's biggest oil-to-retail conglomerate could save TikTok in one of its biggest markets. Before the ban in June, TikTok India had over 200 million subscribers and the company was valued at $3 billion.
Besides, Ambani is also working on the sale of 49 per cent stake in Jio-BP fuel retailing business to British oil giant BP plc for Rs 7,000 crore. He also plans to sell 20 per cent stake in Reliance O2C, the newly-formed subsidiary, to the world's most profitable company, Saudi Aramco, for Rs 1.14 lakh crore.
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In its plan to strengthen the company's presence in the e-commerce market in India, Mukesh Ambani's RIL is planning to acquire online furniture brand Urban Ladder, talks with whom are at an advanced stage, The Times of India reported. If the talks move to the final stage, RIL could peg the deal at around $30 million and pump in more money to expand its presence in the online consumer business.
Milkbasket, which earlier held discussions with Amazon and Bigbasket, is also negotiating its valuation and talks with RIL are at an advanced stage. Milkbasket deals with over 9,000 products across different categories, including fruits, vegetables, FMCG, and dairy, and operates across Gurugram, Noida, Dwarka, Ghaziabad, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, serving around 1.30 lakh households. RIL wants to cash in on the rise in demand for online grocery amid coronavirus outbreak.
Pharmacy is the new battleground for big companies as they try to cash in on thriving pharma and tele-medicine space. RIL has been in talks with Chennai-based start-up Netmeds for around $120 million takeover deal. The bigger aim could be to consolidate the online pharmacy market that is dominated by the likes of Practo, 1mg, PharmEasy, Medlife, among others. This month, Amazon also made a foray into India's online pharmacy market. The service has been launched by the e-commerce major in Bengaluru, and plans to carry out pilots in other cities as well.
RIL's subsidiary Reliance Brands recently bought out the entire 15 per cent stake of Ronnie Screwvala-owned Unilazer Ventures in Zivame, which sells many luxury brands such as Diesel, Jimmy Choo, Tiffany and Mothercare in India. At present, Zodius is the largest shareholder in Zivame with about 60 per cent stake. Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad owns about 25 per cent. The company is eying bigger pie in this thriving start-up, founded by Richa Kar in 2011. Zivame has 30-plus retail stores and a presence in more than 800 partner stores across the country.
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