Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Industries (RIL) is reportedly close to set a deal to buy stakes in the retail businesses of Kishore Biyani’s Future Group, the media has reported.
Earlier, the Future Group was also exploring stake sale opportunities in Future Retail with PremjiInvest, the family investment arm of Wipro Chairman Azim Premji, and private equity firm Samara Capital. If any deal is finalised, then it would be a breather for the Future Group, as promoter Kishore Biyani had defaulted on loans in March.
Various rating agencies like Standard & Poor’s and Fitch downgraded credit ratings of Future Retail after the default and invocation of pledged shares by lenders. The promoters and promoter group held a 40.31 percent stake in Future Retail as of March 31, 2020. Future Retail operates 1,500 retail stores that cover over 16 million square feet of retail space in 400 cities. It has large format stores, Big Bazaar, its flagship chain, besides small store neighbourhood retail chains, EasyDay Club and Heritage Fresh.
On the other hand, Reliance Retail operates a network of 11,784 stores covering 28.7 million square feet and reported a revenue of Rs 38,211 crore in the January-March quarter.
PremjiInvest owns an about 6 percent stake in Future Retail, while Amazon has around 3.6 percent.
Earlier this year, the Future Group had forged partnerships with e-commerce major Amazon, as they sought to expand their reach by leveraging each other’s networks. Meanwhile, the BSE has sought for a clarification from Future Retail and Future Enterprises on the significant stock price movements.