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Qatari fund in talks to invest $1 bn into Reliance Retail at $100 bn valuation

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The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is “considering” to pick a minority 1% stake in holding firm Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd 

New Delhi: Qatar’s sovereign fund is planning to invest $1 billion into Reliance Retail, valuing India’s largest retailer at a whopping $100 billion, a report said on Wednesday.

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is “considering” to pick a minority 1% stake in holding firm Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL), Financial Times reported.

QIA is latest among a string of about a dozen global investment funds that in 2022 had made a beeline to snap minority stakes in RRVL.

“The company evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis. As a principle, we do not comment on market speculations and rumours,” a Reliance Retail spokesperson said when IndiaRetailing approached the company about the FT report.

In 2022, the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) had sold 10.9% in RRVL to a string of global funds including Silver Lake Partners, KKR, TPG, GIC, General Atlantic among others for Rs 47,265 crore, valuing the company at that time at around $62 billion. Now, the valuation of RRVL has gone up to $100 billion, as per the FT report on the Qatari fund’s capital infusion plans.

Once the Qatari funding talks fructify, it will be the fourth Middle East sovereign funds to purchase minority stakes in RVVL. So far, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and UAE’s Mubadala Investment Co. have already ploughed around $3 billion into RRVL in 2022 to purchase roughly around 6% stake in the country’s largest retailer by value and by number of stores.

The global funds are betting on India’s overall consumption story where Reliance Retail is at the pole position with its vast coverage of India with its more than 18,000 stores spread across more than 7,000 towns covering a retail area of over 65.6 million sq. ft.

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