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Amazon in talks to pick up 9.9% stake in Reliance Retail: Report

While Mukesh Ambani is close to buying Future group, Jeff Bezos is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire a 9.9% stake in Reliance’s retail arm. As a part of the deal, Amazon is looking to pick up a preferred, strategic stake in Reliance Retail for JioMart.

At present, both the platforms — Amazon Pantry’ and Reliance JioMart — are competing against each other in the online grocery space. If the deal goes through, it would surely strengthen Amazon’s operations in the grocery space, which is dominated by players such as Bigbasket and Grofers.

The development was first reported by ET Now.

“We do not comment on speculations of what we may or may not do in the future,” said Amazon’s spokesperson to Entrackr. Queries sent to Reliance did not elicit any immediate response. We will update the post as and when they respond. 

Amazon, which recently expanded its Amazon Pantry to over 300 Indian cities, would be looking to grab a larger pie in partnership with Jio Mart. Launched in May this year and available across over 200 cities, JioMart covers everything related to grocery, FMCG and consumer goods. 

It is expected to change the status quo of the online grocery segment in India. Within two months of its launch, Jio Mart has been doing around 2.5 lakh orders a day. Soon, it will become the biggest online grocery ordering platform in India. 

Apart from grocery, it’s also planning to expand into segments including fashions and electronics. This would further intensify JioMart’s competition with e-commerce majors Flipkart and Amazon. 

Reliance Retail is the largest offline retailer in India and has been well equipped to evangelize the omnichannel approach than others. Reliance is also in its last leg to acquire Future Group. For Amazon, Reliance Retail would be its fourth investment in the local brick & mortar retailer. Previously, it bought stakes in Shoppers Stop, More and Future Coupons.

While Amazon would be acquiring stakes in Reliance Retail, Ambani’s telecom business Jio has been on a funding spree from April last week. So far, it has raised $20 billion investment in 2020 against 33% stake in the company.

Besides Facebook, Silver Lake, and Vista Equity, search giant Google also announced to invest Rs 33,737 crore ~ $4.5 billion in Jio platforms for a 7.7% stake. 

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