Grapevine: Walmart eyes Reliance Retail stake; talks resume for Vodafone stake
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries is in discussions to sell a minority stake in its retail arm, Reliance Retail Ventures, to Walmart Inc.

The world’s largest retailer is emerging as an early candidate to pick up a stake in India’s largest retail company, the Morning Context said citing an executive familiar with the development.

On Saturday, Reliance Retail Ventures bought Kishore Biyani-promoted Future Group’s retail & wholesale and logistics & warehousing businesses on a slump sale basis for Rs 24,713 crore. 

Also, Amazon.com Inc. and Verizon Communications, the largest wireless carrier in the US, are set to resume talks to buy a significant stake in struggling Vodafone Idea Ltd for more than $4 billion (Rs 29,293 crore), two people aware of the negotiations told Mint.

The Supreme Court offered a breather to the ailing telco by allowing them to pay Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues over the next 10 years. 

Previously the stake-sale talks got stalled over the AGR issue, the people said.

Of the combined dues of all telcos of close to Rs 1.4 trillion, Vodafone Idea alone needs to pay around Rs 0.5 trillion more to the government in licence fee, spectrum usage charges, interest and penalties.

In a late-night filing on Tuesday, Vodafone Idea said that its board will meet on 4 September to consider proposals for fundraising.

Meanwhile, the Adani Group is planning to raise at least $1 billion (Rs 7,323 crore) in equity financing to fund its takeover of two Mumbai airports from GVK Group, people with knowledge of the matter told The Economic Times.

They are in talks with Qatar Investment Authority -- a partner in Adani Electricity -- and other global wealth funds including Canadian and Singaporean vehicles.

Adani Airport Holdings will likely sell up to 20% stake to raise the funds, said the people cited above. They would acquire a debt of Rs 13,500 crore on the books of GVK’s airport business and will use the proceeds to pay part of the amount, they added.

The Adani Group will acquire 74% in MIAL (Mumbai International Airport Ltd). That includes GVK’s 50.5% stake, 10% of Airport Company of South Africa and 13.5% holding of South African Bidvest. The remaining 26% will stay with the Airports Authority of India.

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