Reliance Industries is set to acquire German retailer METRO AG’s Cash & Carry business in India in a deal estimated at around 500 million euros (Rs 4,060 crore), industry sources said.
The deal includes 31 wholesale distribution centres, land banks and other assets owned by METRO Cash & Carry in New Delhi, they said.
This is going to help Reliance Retail, the country’s largest retailer, expand its presence in the B2B segment.
Discussion between billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries and METRO was going on for the past few months and last week the German parent firm agreed to the offer from Reliance Retail, they added.
When contacted, both METRO and Reliance Industries declined to comment on the development.
A Reliance spokesperson said, “Our company evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis.” METRO AG’s spokesperson said, “We do no comment on market rumour or speculations.” METRO Cash & Carry’s customers include retailers and kirana stores, hotels, restaurants and caterers (HoReCa), corporates, SMEs, companies and institutions.
The B2B segment is considered to be a low-margin business and multinationals such as Carrefour have exited from the country in 2014.
In July 2020, e-commerce major Flipkart Group acquired 100 per cent stake in Walmart India Pvt Ltd, which operates the Best Price cash-and-carry business.
Other retailers were also in the race to acquire METRO Cash & Carry, including Siam Makro, which operates Lots Wholesale cash-and-carry trading business under the brand name LOTS Wholesale Solutions.
Last month, Siam Makro, part of the Charoen Pokphand Group of Thailand, announced its withdrawal from bidding for METRO Cash & Carry India.
METRO AG, which operates in 34 countries, entered the Indian market in 2003.
It operates six stores in Bengaluru, four in Hyderabad, two each in Mumbai and Delhi, and one each in Kolkata, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Zirakpur, Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Surat, Indore, Lucknow, Meerut, Nasik, Ghaziabad, Tumakuru, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Guntur and Hubballi.
Reliance Industries’ subsidiary Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL) is the holding company of all the retail companies under the group.
RRVL had reported a consolidated turnover of around Rs 2 lakh crore for the year ended March 31, 2022.
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