// Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani offers Amazon a £15.6bn stake in the retail arm of Reliance Industries
// Ambani is the chairman, managing director and largest shareholder of the Indian conglomerate
// Reliance Retail currently has almost 12,000 stores across India
India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani has reportedly offered Jeff Bezos’ Amazon a $20 billion (£15.6 billion) stake in the retail arm of his Mumbai-based Reliance Industries.
The Indian billionaire is the chairman, managing director and largest shareholder of the Indian conglomerate, and is willing to sell as much as a 40 per cent stake in the retail subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures to the online retailer, Bloomberg reported.
Reliance Retail currently has almost 12,000 stores across India, and is seeking to expand its core divisions of chemicals, energy and telecoms into ecommerce.
In 2013, Amazon launched its first online shopping site in India and has since created 700,000 new jobs across the nation.
If the deal goes ahead, it would turn Bezos and Asia’s richest man from rivals into allies in one of the fastest-growing consumer markets in the world.
The deal would be the biggest ever in India as well as for Amazon.
Ambani also owns Jiomart, an online delivery service across India, as well as UK toy retailer Hamleys.
He is also poised to acquire the retail, wholesale and logistics businesses of fellow Indian conglomerate Future Group for £2.48 billion.
The investment in Ambani’s retail ventures comes after he raised $20 billion selling stakes in his technology venture Jio Platforms, to investors including the likes of Facebook and Google.