Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani is on a shopping spree in race against Amazon
Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man who spent the early few months of the pandemic raising more than $20 billion by selling stakes in his technology venture, is now on a shopping spree.
The Indian billionaire is looking to acquire several local online retailers to help expand product offerings, people familiar with the matter said, as he races to build his e-commerce platform and compete against Amazon.com Inc.
Reliance Industries |NSE 0.43 %| Ltd., Ambani’s oil, retail and telecommunications conglomerate, is in various stages of negotiations to either buy out or purchase stakes in Urban Ladder, an online furniture seller, Zivame, a lingerie maker, and Netmeds, which delivers medicine, the people said, asking not to be identified as the talks are confidential. There’s no certainty the deliberations may result in a deal, they added.
The 63-year-old tycoon is seeking to widen his retail footprint in a market that’s become a hot spot for global giants such as Amazon as well as many local rivals, all chasing a billion-plus consumers. The business mogul last month 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,” said Pronam Chatterjee, co-founder and chief executive officer of BluePi Consulting. "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.”