Future Enterprises to seal Reliance Retail deal on Saturday - ET

BENGALURU (Reuters) - India’s Future Enterprises Ltd is all set to finalise the sale of the group’s retail business to Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd’s retail arm on Saturday, The Economic Times said.

The deal, reportedly in the works for months now, has been valued at about 290-300 billion rupees ($3.92-$4.06 billion), according to various media reports. Citing two sources familiar with the matter, The Economic Times said on Friday that Reliance will take on Future Group’s debt and liabilities and pick up a minority stake in its consumer arm.

Owned by India’s “father of modern retailing”, Kishore Biyani, Future Group is home to supermarket chain Big Bazaar, upmarket food stores Foodhall, and bargain clothing chain Brand Factory.

The Group will merge five listed units across grocery, apparel, supply chain and the consumer business into Future Enterprises, which will then hive off all retail assets and sell them to Reliance as a single unit, the report here&utm_medium=HP&utm_campaign=TN&utm_content=23 said.

Future Group and Reliance did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for a comment.

Future Enterprises had said earlier this week it would meet on Saturday to consider proposals to raise funds through an issue of bonds.

Led by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, Reliance has been diversifying its business and ramping up a retail presence. It launched an online grocery service JioMart in May, a move rivalling Inc and Walmart Inc Ltd’s Flipkart in India, a key growth market for e-commerce.

The company is also in talks to buy online furniture company Urban Ladder and milk delivery startup Milkbasket to strengthen its e-commerce business, The Times of India had said earlier this month.

Shares in Future Enterprises Ltd jumped 5% and hit an upper price limit.

($1 = 73.8940 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V