In the past three years, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has made several acquisitions to boost the product offerings of its subsidiaries, including Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd and Reliance Retail Ltd. RIL has invested 566 million dollars in media and education, 194 million dollars in retail, 1.2 billion dollars in telecom and internet companies, 100 million dollars in digital and 391 million dollars in chemicals and energy.
Reliance acquired companies such as Balaji Telefilms (television content), EdCast (learning enabler), Embibe (edtech content), Saavn (music content), Radsys (5G architecture), Eros (television content), Hathway (broadband), DEN (cable), Haptik (customer engagement), Reverie (language processing), Fynd (online shopping), Tesseract (AR/VR) and Grab (logistics) within 2 years.
Within 2 years, Mukesh Ambani took over many companies through RIL. Reliance’s acquired companies are working on different technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, multiplayer online gaming, multi-party video conferencing, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR). So the acquisitions are just an extension of the ambitions of RIL.
RIL announced on March 23, 2018, a strategic merger of its JioMusic digital music service with the Saavn music over-the-top platform. RIL acquired a 75-80 percent stake in the merged entity. The company said the combined entity, with JioMusic’s implied valuation at $670 million and Saavn at $330 million, is valued at over $1 billion.
JioSaavn has over 200 staff and operates in California, New York, Bangalore, Gurgaon, and its Mumbai headquarters out of five offices. It has over 900 label collaborations, some of which are Universal, Sony, T-Series, Tips, YRF, Saregama, Eros, and Warner Music, and provides over 40 million tracks in 15 languages.
Den Network, Hathway Cable
In October 2018, Reliance Jio bought a majority stake in Den Networks, Hathway Cable, and Datacom. Jio gained a 66 percent stake with a primary investment of Rs. 2,045 crores in Den Networks and a 51.3 percent stake with an initial investment of Rs. 2,940 crores in Hathway Cable and Datacom.
DEN claims to have the capacity to reach 9.7 lakh homes and has over 106,000 subscribers on broadband. The Raheja Group owns Hathway Cable, whilst Sameer Manchanda owns DEN Networks.
In July 2019, Reliance Industries completed the acquisition of British toy retailer Hamleys in an all-cash deal for approximately Rs 620 crores (GBP 67.96 million) as Reliance Brands signed an agreement to acquire a 100% stake in Hamleys Global Holdings from Hong Kong-based C.banner International.
RIL noted that Reliance Brands had completed the acquisition of 100 percent of Hamleys Global Holdings (HGHL) by a special purpose vehicle corporation founded in the United Kingdom.
Reliance Industries Ltd acquired a majority stake in online pharmacy Netmeds on August 19, 2020, for about $83 million (Rs. 620 crores) in cash, days after an online drug delivery service was launched in India by e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc.
The investment represents 60 percent of Vitalic Health’s equity capital and 100 percent of its subsidiaries’ direct equity holdings: Tresara Health Private Limited, Netmeds Market Place Limited, and Dadha Pharma Distribution Pvt Limited.
In the entertainment business, RIL has also invested. In a deal worth Rs413.28 crores, it acquired a 25 percent stake in film and television production house Balaji Telefilms Ltd. a.k.a ALTBalaji. The stake purchase will give access to the content produced by Balaji Telefilms to Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. RIL also acquired a 5 percent stake for $48.75 million in the film entertainment company Eros International as video content is a key driver for its telecom venture Reliance Jio to steer data consumption.
RIL revealed on April 3, 2019, that Reliance Jio Digital Services Limited acquired Haptik for Rs 700 crores with Rs 230 crores for artificial intelligence (AI) as a consideration for the initial business transfer that could compete against Google Assistant and Alexa from Amazon. Reliance would thus own about 87 percent of the firm, with the remainder owned by Haptik founders and employees through grants for stock options.
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) said that its media and distribution assets are being combined under a single company, Network 18. As a result, with around Rs 8,000 crore in annual revenue and benefiting from significant economies of scale, Network 18 will become India’s largest listed media firm.
Under the News18 brand, TV18 Broadcast owns the largest news network in the country and is also the controlling shareholder in the company that owns the Voot entertainment network and video streaming service Colors. India’s top cable network, which dominates 30 percent of the market, is Together Hathway and Den.
A majority stake in Shopsense Retail Technologies Pvt was acquired by RIL. Ltd that operates the fashion portal for Rs 295.25 crores ($41.9 million) from Fynd.
Via an offline-to-online (O2O) model, Fynd operates and directly sources items from prominent brands in India across different categories such as clothes, footwear, jewelry, and accessories. To maximize delivery time, Fynd sources goods from the outlets closest to the client. It has over 8,000 on-board outlets for about 500 customers.
Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), has acquired equity shares of online furniture startup Urban Ladder Home Decor Solutions Pvt Ltd for ₹182.12 crore
RRVL has acquired 96 percent of Urban Ladder’s equity share capital and has an additional option to acquire the balance stake, bringing its shareholding to 100 percent on Saturday night, the company told the stock exchange.