Reliance set to expand e-com footprint

Mukesh Ambani is looking to expand his retail footprint by investing in several ecommerce players.

This is being seen as a precursor to the ongoing battle with Amazon for India’s hot ecommerce retail market.

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) is in discussions to acquire or buy stakes in furniture outlet, Urban Ladder, lingerie brand, Zivame, and online pharma store, Netmeds.

As per reports, Reliance could pay as much as $160 million for Zivame while the Urban Ladder deal could be pegged at about $30 million and Netmeds at $120 million. Milkbasket, a milk company, is also said to be one of the targets. RIL has raised more than $20 billion by selling equity stake in Jio Platforms.

RIL is also said to be in talks to acquire full or parts of Kishore Biyani’s Future Group’s retail assets. Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) had earlier clarified that it is unable to comment on speculation and rumours on a deal to acquire the retail businesses of Future Group.

RIL was replying in a clarification to stock exchanges on a possible deal with Future Group.

“..And would like to clarify that we are unable to comment on media speculation and rumours and it would be inappropriate on our part to do so,” RIL said.

“The Company evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis. Further, there is no information which has not been announced to the stock exchanges and which should have been announced by the Company in terms of the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015,” Reliance had said.

Reliance is on a buying spree and the latest round could be similar to the buys since 2017. Since then, Reliance has purchased toy store-chain Hamleys, music streaming app called Saavn, Grab a Grub Services and the Haptik artificial intelligence chatbot.

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