Amazon, an online store, is in talks to acquire a 9.9 percent stake in Reliance Retail, a retail chain controlled by Asia's richest man, Mukesh Ambani, local news channel ET News reported.
Reliance Retail, a subsidiary of the conglomerate Reliance Industries, was established in 2006 and is the largest retail chain in India. The chain has 10,000 stores in 6,500 cities with 3.5 million customers a week.
Rumors of negotiations with Amazon came a few days after Ambani said several companies were interested in investing in the conglomerate chain.
Reliance's second subsidiary, Jio Platforms, raised $ 20 billion in a few months by selling a third of the IT company. Investors included private equity funds as well as the Internet giant Facebook and Google. At this month's general meeting of Reliance Industries shareholders, Ambani said the company will involve Reliance Retail's global partners and investors.
Reliance Industries' subsidiary JioMart, founded in May, is becoming an increasing competitor to Amazon's local unit, which has already invested $ 6.5 billion in India, Reuters reports.
Mukesh Amban's wealth has grown rapidly, largely due to major investments, and on Thursday he topped Microsoft's former CEO Steve Ballmer in the Bloomberg Billionaire and became the fifth richest person in the world. Bloomberg estimates its assets at $ 77.4 billion, up $ 18.8 billion since the beginning of the year.
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