Reliance Rejects Plans for Amazon Mega-Deals

Mumbai: The Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance has denied a recent report of its plan to sell a $20-billion stake of its retail business to its US rival Amazon. The deal was considered as upending the country’s hugely lucrative e-commerce sector.

An earlier report published by Bloomberg on Thursday said that Reliance, owned by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, had offered Amazon a 40-percent stake in its retail subsidiary RRVL, citing an unidentified person with knowledge of the matter.

The deal, which would have been the largest for the country and for the Silicon Valley behemoths according to Bloomberg data, would have shaken up the retail sector, transforming the relationship between two firms that have spent months locked in frenzied competition.

But a source at the reliance disputed the report, which sent Reliance shares up by more than seven percent in Mumbai, calling it “incorrect”. “It makes no sense for both the parties to establish partnerships or collaborations,” the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

Reliance has been fighting Amazon and Walmart-backed Flipkart for a share of India’s online market, establishing its digital platform JioMart in May this year.

Reliance last month announced its acquisition of the retail, wholesale and logistics businesses of India’s Future Group, which owns some of the country’s best-known supermarket brands, adding around 1,800 stores to its portfolio.

Future Group’s founder Kishore Biyani, was once known as India’s retail king, but has struggled in recent years, with the coronavirus pandemic dealing a heavy blow to his empire.

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