Saudi Arabia’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Puts $1.3B Into Reliance Retail

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The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia plans to invest about $1.3 billion for an equity stake of about 2 percent in India’s Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd., a subsidiary of the conglomerate Reliance Industries. The companies announced in a press release that the investment values the holding company Reliance Retail Ventures at a “pre-money equity value” of about $62.4 billion.

“We at Reliance have a long-standing relationship with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries. Ambani said that he welcomed the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia “as a valued partner” with Reliance Retail, and that he looked forward to working with the Saudi Arabian investment fund as Reliance Retail seeks “to transform India’s retail sector for enriching the lives of 1.3 billion Indians and millions of small merchants.”

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of the investment fund, said: “We are pleased to be furthering our trusted partnership with Reliance Industries.” Al-Rumayyan said the deal shows the fund’s “commitment to investing and partnering for the long term with innovative businesses around the world that lead and transform their sectors.”

Reliance Retail operates a fast-growing retail business with 12,000 stores across India. “Reliance Retail’s vision is to galvanize the Indian retail sector, serving millions of customers by empowering millions of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),” the company stated.

The investment fund said it “is building a world-class portfolio through investments in attractive, long-term opportunities across diverse industries and asset classes internationally.”

In early October, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority put about $750 million into Reliance Retail Ventures. The investment means that the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund landed a 1.2 percent stake in Reliance Retail, according to a press release.

Ambani said at the time that the investment was “a further endorsement of Reliance Retail’s performance and potential and the inclusive and transformational ‘new commerce’ business model that it is rolling out.”

Also in October, Reliance reported that its telecom giant, Reliance Jio, topped 405 million subscribers in the third quarter.

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