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Business deals

India's Reliance says KKR to invest $755m for 1.28% in retail arm

Retail Ventures owns grocery stores and fashion chains, operates 12,000 stores

Reliance has been looking to expand rapidly online to take on the likes of Walmart's Flipkart and Amazon's Indian arm.   © Reuters

BENGALURU (Reuters) -- U.S. private equity firm KKR & Co Inc will invest 55.50 billion rupees ($755.09 million) in Reliance Industries Ltd's retail arm, giving the unit a pre-money valuation of 4.21 trillion rupees, the Indian conglomerate said on Wednesday.

KKR's investment will translate to a 1.28% stake in Retail Ventures Ltd, according to Reliance.

Reliance, controlled by Asia's richest man Mukesh Ambani has been looking to expand rapidly online to take on the likes of Walmart Inc's Flipkart and Amazon.com Inc's Indian arm.

Powered by Reliance's Jio tech platform, the unit owns retail businesses as varied as grocery stores and fashion chains, and operates close to 12,000 stores across India.

Reliance, which has been on a fund-raising spree, had earlier raised $1.02 billion from U.S. private equity firm Silver Lake Partners for its retail business.

KKR in May invested $1.5 billion in Reliance's digital business, its biggest investment in Asia, as part of a funding round that saw the Indian company raise more than $20 billion from investors including Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google.

KKR will make the investment from its Asia private equity funds.

Morgan Stanley acted as Reliance Retail's financial adviser, while Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP was KKR's financial adviser.

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