July 23, 2020 / 10:55 AM / 23 days ago

Amazon in talks to buy 9.9% stake in Reliance retail arm: ET Now

FILE PHOTO: An employee of Amazon walks through a turnstile gate inside an Amazon Fulfillment Centre (BLR7) on the outskirts of Bengaluru, India, September 18, 2018. REUTERS/ Abhishek N. Chinnappa/File Photo

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc is in talks to buy a 9.9% stake in the retail arm of Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd, ET Now reported on Thursday, citing sources.

Amazon wants a preferred, strategic stake in Reliance Retail for JioMart, according to tweets here by the television channel.

JioMart, the e-commerce venture of Reliance’s retail arm, was launched in May and poses a formidable challenge to Amazon.com’s local unit and Walmart Inc’s Flipkart. Earlier this year, Amazon India launched a program to add small local shops on its platform after India went into a lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.An Amazon spokeswoman through email said the company does not comment on speculation, while Reliance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reliance, controlled by Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, has raised around $20 bln since late April for its digital arm, including from Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc.

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

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