Home / Companies / News /  Carlyle may pick up $2 billion stake in RIL’s retail arm

Carlyle Group is looking to invest $1.5-2 billion to buy a stake in Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL), said two people aware of the development, joining a string of marquee investors that are keen on buying stakes in units of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd.

If a deal is finalized, it will mark Carlyle’s first investment in the retail sector in India and its biggest so far in an Indian company. “The retail story (of Reliance Retail) is certainly a bright spot," one of the two people cited above said, requesting anonymity.

Carlyle is considering investments across the retail space in India comprising both online and offline retail firms, including Reliance Retail, the person said.

To be sure, Carlyle’s investment in RRVL is still at discussion stage, and a final deal may eventually not fructify, said the second person cited above.

Reliance Retail Ltd, a unit of RRVL, operates India’s largest and fastest-growing retail business with nearly 12,000 stores nationwide.

Post the recent acquisition of Future Group’s retail business, RRVL has drawn the attention of several large investors.

Last week, RRVL raised $1 billion from Silver Lake Partners. On Thursday, Mint reported that the retail firm is set to draw $5 billion in additional investments from KKR and Co., Mubadala Investment Co. and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

California-based private equity firm Silver Lake, an investor in RIL’s Jio Platforms Ltd, picked up a 1.75% stake in RRVL for 7,500 crore, valuing the company at 4.21 trillion, or $57 billion. The latest plan by Carlyle also values Reliance Retail at similar levels.

A spokesperson for Carlyle declined to comment on the talks with Reliance.

A spokesperson for RIL said on Saturday: “Our company evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis. We have made and will continue to make necessary disclosures in compliance with our obligations under Securities Exchange Board of India and our agreements with the stock exchanges."

“In light of a high incidence of speculative media queries...relating to purported capital transactions ...we would like to reiterate that as a policy, we do not comment on media speculation. Vide this communication, we appeal to the media to carefully examine any such speculative information and safeguard themselves and their readers, many of whom are individual retail investors, from publishing/recycling unfounded and/or incorrect news," the spokesperson said.

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