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Amazon May Take a $20 Billion Stake in India's Reliance Retail

By Rich Duprey – Updated Sep 10, 2020 at 10:49AM

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The e-commerce giant nears a deal for a major growth opportunity.

With India becoming the linchpin for global growth for retailers and tech companies, Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries is reportedly ready to sell to Amazon (AMZN -0.77%) a 40% stake in its Reliance Retail Ventures that would be worth as much as $20 billion.

The two have been in negotiations since this summer, when it was reported Amazon was interested in a 10% piece of the business. 

India flag on computer keyboard next to one that says sale

Image source: Getty Images.

A stake in future growth

Reliance Retail runs supermarkets, India's largest consumer electronics chain store, a cash-and-carry wholesaler, fast-fashion outlets, and an online grocery store called JioMart that both Alphabet (GOOG -1.24%) (GOOGL -1.02%) and Facebook (META -0.74%) have invested in.

The investment would not only give Amazon a stake in one of the world's fastest-growing economies, but would also give it a partner to lean on to avoid the problems of going it alone as it tried to do in China.

Amazon has already invested billions of dollars in various Indian businesses, and committed to spending as much as $1 billion to help India's small businesses develop e-commerce platforms.

Amazon and Reliance Industries have been competing against one another to establish positions in Future Retail, India's second-largest retailer. Amazon invested over $100 million into Future Coupons, a gift card, loyalty card, and rewards card business for corporations that is owned by Future Retail. According to Bloomberg, Reliance acquired $3.4 billion worth of assets in the indebted company last month.

No agreement has be reached between the two companies, however, and a deal could still fall apart.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Amazon, and Facebook and recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon and short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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