Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd, the retail unit of India’s most valuable company, is preparing to go public soon, two people aware of the development said.
“It may be after June and the company expects a good response," one of the two people cited above said on condition of anonymity.
Parent Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) operates its retail business through Reliance Retail Ventures, the holding company for Reliance Retail Ltd and Reliance Brands. The latter operates joint ventures with international brands.
Reliance Retail did not respond to an email sent on 20 February seeking a response.
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of RIL, is betting on the company’s consumer businesses—Reliance Retail Ltd and Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd—to double sales in about seven years and expects the businesses to contribute nearly as much to overall earnings as its energy and petrochemical businesses.
Reliance Retail already operates more than 9,900 stores in over 6,400 cities across India. That is more than the stores of all other organized retailers put together. India’s second-largest retailer, Future Retail, operates nearly 1,400 stores in 400 cities.
Reliance Retail has 127 grocery stores across 73 cities; it is the largest fashion retail chain with 609 stores; it operates 343 electronic stores and 5,705 Jio points across the country. Online sales account for 10% of sales across stores. A separate RIL subsidiary, Reliance Petro Marketing Ltd, operates 514 retail outlets.
“What works for Reliance Retail is its presence across formats," an analyst at a foreign brokerage said on condition of anonymity. “In grocery, revenues have been (growing) faster than DMart’s. In apparel too, they have grown faster than any other player. If you just look at core retail, that number is higher than the sum of all the other listed stocks covered—DMart, Future Retail, etc. A year back, this used to be less than half."
According to a 6 February JP Morgan note to clients, RIL’s consumer businesses across retail, Jio and e-commerce are valued at $58 billion.