Middle East funds eye stakes in retail arm of India’s Reliance – FT

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Sept 9 (Reuters) – Middle East sovereign wealth funds, including the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), are in talks to buy stakes in the retail arm of Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

ADIA is in discussions to invest about $750 million at a valuation of roughly $57 billion, while PIF could funnel as much as $1.5 billion into Reliance Retail, the FT said, citing people familiar with the matter. (on.ft.com/3k0ONwv)

Abu Dhabi investment firm Mubadala may also take a stake, according to the report.

ADIA and PIF declined to comment, while Mubadala and Reliance Industries did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The discussions come as Reliance earlier in the day said U.S. private equity firm Silver Lake Partners will invest $1.02 billion in its retail business.

KKR & Co Inc is in advanced talks to invest at least $1 billion in Reliance Retail, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

Reliance has been aggressively building its retail presence through acquisitions, moving beyond its mainstay oil and gas business. The company has said it aims to attract investors in Reliance Retail over the next few quarters.

The conglomerate has raised a little more than $20 billion from global investors, including Facebook Inc, by selling stakes in its Jio Platforms digital business. (Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)