Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Retail Ventures is planning to raise around $2.5 billion by the end of September, for which it is said to be in advanced talks with some global investors. The fundraising plan comes ahead of a potential stock market listing.
The target fund raise of $2.5 billion is part of a combined $3.5 billion target that the firm has set for itself, a part of which -$1 billion - came from Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and was announced last month, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
In an emailed statement, Reliance said "As a policy, we do not comment on media speculation and rumours. Our company evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis."
Last month, Reliance had raised $1 billion from QIA at a $100 billion valuation for India's biggest retailer whose operations stretch from selling groceries to electronics, and include foreign partnerships with brands like Burberry and Pret A Manger.
Morgan Stanley is advising Reliance on the process, said two sources with direct knowledge.
All the three sources declined to name potential investors. But the first source said Reliance was talking to at least two U.S.-based investors, while the other two sources said there was growing interest from existing foreign investors of Reliance, including some sovereign wealth funds.
Upon materialising, the investment will elevate India’s status to a rare bright spot for Western private investors who are shying away from new investments in China due to the country's worsening economic outlook and geopolitical tensions.
A fourth source with direct knowledge said two Reliance fund-raise announcements were likely within two weeks, and valuation of the company would be around the same at which QIA invested, which is around $100 billion. That implies a potential $2.5 billion investment will be equivalent to a 2.5% stake in the company.