Reliance Industries on Sunday announced US fund General Atlantic will invest Rs. 6.598 crores ($870 million) in Jio Platforms, a fourth deal that takes investment in its digital unit to over $8 billion in less than a month. General Atlantic will pick up a 1.34 percent stake in Jio Platforms which includes movie, music apps as wells telecoms venture Jio Infocomm. The deal puts Jio Platform’s equity value at Rs. 4.91 lakh crores and gives it an enterprise value of Rs. 5.16 lakh crores, Reliance said in a statement.
The deals, along with Reliance’s plan to sell $7 billion (roughly Rs. 53,100 crores) in new shares, will help the Mumbai-based oil-to-telecoms giant meet its target of eliminating $21.4 billion (roughly Rs. 1.62 lakh crores) in net debt this year.
They also underscore the strength of a digital business which Ambani has built over the past four years in an effort to diversify Reliance way from petrochemicals and refining.
Ambani, Asia’s richest man, launched the Jio telecoms venture in late 2016, driving several rivals out of the market and pushing others to consolidate.
He’s often said “data is the new oil”.
He has pitched Jio as a tech company with capabilities to build smart homes, making it a possible rival to Amazon’s Alexa-based solutions, connected cars and security systems.
On Sunday, Reliance Chairman Ambani said: “We are excited to leverage General Atlantic’s proven global expertise and strategic insights across 40 years of technology investing for the benefit of Jio.”
© Thomson Reuters 2020