Amazon is in early-stage discussions to acquire a 9.9 percent stake in Reliance Retail Ltd., a unit of India's Reliance Industries, The Economic Times reported, citing anonymous sources. An Amazon investment in a Reliance property would follow a number of others from major players in recent months.
Reliance Industries is owned by 63-year-old Mukesh Ambani, who often is called Asia's richest man.
Bloomberg News reported that a Reliance spokesman declined to comment on the report.
Bloomberg also reported that Ambani last week told shareholders that suitors were seeking stakes in his companies. "We’ve received strong interest from strategic and financial investors in Reliance Retail,” Ambani was quoted as saying. “We will induct global partners and investors in Reliance Retail in the next few quarters.”
Ambani inherited energy operations from his father in 2002, according to Bloomberg, and recently has listed retail and technology as areas for future investment.
On July 6, Livemint.com reported that Intel would invest $253 million for a 0.39 stake in Reliance's Jio Platforms, which is India's largest mobile services operator.
In May, The Financial Times reported that New York's KKR planned to invest $1.5 billion in Jio Platforms.
Also in May, the Financial Times reported that private equity firm General Atlantic, of New York, planned to spend $870 million for a 1.3 percent stake in Jio Platforms.
Jio, which reportedly has 388 million subscribers in India, is also seeking to incorporate a payments service into an app.