Mukesh Ambani pushes ahead with ambition to dominate India’s retail sector
New Delhi — Reliance Industries said it will acquire the retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing units of India’s Future Group for 247.1-billion rupees ($3.4bn), in a transaction that will propel Mukesh Ambani’s ambitions to dominate India’s retail sector.
Future Group will merge some of its units into Future Enterprises, Reliance Retail Ventures said in a statement on Saturday.
The transaction with the Future Group will bolster Reliance Retail — already the nation’s largest retailer by the number of stores — in a sector that’s estimated to be worth $1.3-trillion by 2025 from $700bn in 2019, according to a February study by Boston Consulting Group and Retailers’ Association India. The deal will also help the indebted Future Group pare its borrowings.
After disrupting India’s telecom sector, Ambani is now pushing ahead with his ambitions in the brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce space. Asia’s wealthiest man is on a mission to transform his conglomerate into a consumer-services giant and reduce dependence on revenue from its traditional businesses of petrochemicals and oil refining.
Reliance Industries’ deal with the Future Group also draws the battle lines between Ambani and Amazon.com as well as Walmart, which have spent billions in a bid to dominate the world’s only billion-people-plus market that’s still open to foreign firms.
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