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Reliance Industries Weighs Purchases Of Retailer, Delivery Companies

August 17, 2020 at 08:15PM

India’s Reliance Industries is in talks to buy online furniture retailer Urban Ladder in a transaction valued at as much as $30 million, the Times of India reported on Monday (Aug. 17).

According to the Times of India, four sources confirmed the talks; one said they have been underway for “months” and are at an “advanced” stage, but are not yet complete. The paper said Reliance has been on a buying spree of late, and is also in talks to buy a company called Milkbasket that delivers to homes.

Milkbasket, which describes itself as a “micro-delivery” service, recently raised $5.5 million to bring its total investor funding to $33 million.

The latest possible moves would come as Reliance is seeking to expand its presence in digital services, including home delivery.

The Financial Times reported early this year that Reliance was beginning to engage in new home delivery ventures. And in May, Reliance launched an online grocery service called Jiomart in India.

Reliance is among the largest companies in India. The conglomerate has interests in energy, textiles and telecommunication.

The company has been led by Mukesh Ambani since a 2005 quarrel among its late founder’s family members. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index lists Ambani as the sixth-richest person in the world, with a net worth of $79.5 billion – just behind Warren Buffett and barely ahead of Tesla Founder Elon Musk.

On Friday (Aug. 15), Reliance denied a report by a daily business publication called Mint suggesting that Ambani was preparing a succession plan.

In other Reliance news, TikTok owner ByteDance is reportedly in talks with Reliance about a potential investment deal that could save the company’s Indian business.

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