Google and Paytm are set to collaborate for an investment of about Rs 3,500-4,000 crore in Kishore Biyani’s Future Retail group. According to ET, several people familiar with the matter suggested Alibaba-backed Paytm Mall and Google are looking to join forces to form a consortium and invest Rs 3,500-4,000 crore for a 7-10 percent stake in Future Retail.
Jeff Bezos Amazon reportedly explored similar stake in Future Retail in Feburary, and that was too with Alibaba. Future Group chief executive Kishore Biyani had even met Jeff Bezos in the U.S. and Alibaba officials in China. Now Paytm Mall, which is also backed by Alibaba, is exploring the same stake opportunity with Google.
This consortium is likely to be pitted against Amazon in India, although Biyani denied any knowledge of a Google-Alibaba investment plan in Future Retail. Also as per the report, Google, Paytm and Alibaba spokespersons declined to comment. “We don’t comment on speculation or rumours,” report quoted a Google spokesperson.
Earlier this month in an interview with ET, Biyani said he was likely to close a deal with a foreign investor in the next two months. Future Retail recently reported 3.56 percent rise in net profit for the June quarter at Rs 153.12 crore, which was up from Rs 147.85 crore net profit in the same period a year ago. Over the past six years, Biyani’s Future Group has acquired half a dozen supermarket store chains and put together a total retail space of 13.6 million sq ft, with a presence in 255 cities through over 1,030 stores.
Recently, there were reports that Alibaba has also initiated talks with the Indian retail giant Reliance Retail to invest $5 billion in Indian e-commerce space. But later Reliance reached out to BGR India to clarify its stance in response to the report. The company stated that there had been no discussions about the partnership and there was no meeting between Jack Ma and Mukesh Ambani.