Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, is reportedly looking to acquire several local online retailers as he races to edge out Jeff Bezos’ Amazon.
Reports say Ambani raised more than $20 billion earlier this year from selling stakes in his technology venture. He is now said to be making big moves to dominate the e-commerce space.
According to Bloomberg sources, Ambani’s oil, retail and telecommunications conglomerate, Reliance Industries Ltd., is negotiating to either buy out or purchase stakes in Urban Ladder, an online furniture seller, Zivame, a lingerie maker, and Netmeds, which delivers medicine.
The business mogul is seeking to widen his retail reach in a market that has become a hotspot for global giants such as Amazon and other local retailers.Asia’s Richest man, Mukesh Ambani
Last month, Ambani outlined plans to rope in investors for his Reliance Retail Ltd., days after selling a combined 33% stake in Jio Platforms Ltd, a digital services holding company, to partners including Facebook Inc. and Google.
“At a time like this, the valuation of a lot of retail organizations is really attractive and Reliance is in an enviable position with a huge war chest,” Pronam Chatterjee, co-founder and chief executive officer of BluePi Consulting, said.
He added, “In the next five years, we see one retail organization taking up the pole position. With these acquisitions Reliance is priming to be the clear leader.”
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India media reports that Reliance could pay as much as $160 million for Bangalore-based Zivame while the Urban Ladder deal could be pegged at about $30 million. It said Netmeds deal could be $120 million.
The Times of India also reported that Milkbasket, a milk delivery company, is also one of the targets.
Ambani’s company has been acquiring stakes and businesses since 2017 – it has purchased British toy store-chain Hamleys, a local music streaming app called Saavn, logistics operation Grab a Grub Services and the Haptik artificial intelligence chatbot. Reliance is also said to be finalizing a deal for stakes in some units of Indian retailer, Future Group.
In late 2019, the tycoon launched his shopping portal JioMart, which now delivers in about 200 cities and towns.
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