Reliance Industries secured additional funding for its tech subsidiary less than two weeks after Facebook acquired a 10 per cent share for $5.7 billion, with private-equity company Silver Lake to invest INR56.6 billion ($747.8 million) in Jio Platforms.
In a statement, Reliance Industries said Silver Lake’s investment, made at a 12.5 per cent premium to the Facebook deal, values Jio Platforms at about $65 billion, and gives the equity company a little more than a 1 per cent interest. Facebook’s stake makes it the largest minority shareholder in the Indian company.
Jio Platforms operates broadband and online commerce services, including Reliance Jio, India’s largest mobile operator with 388 million subscribers.
Mukesh Ambani, chairman and MD of Reliance Industries, said: “We are excited to leverage insights from their global technology relationships for the Indian digital society’s transformation.”
Egon Durban, Silver Lake co-CEO and managing partner, said Jio Platforms had brought “extraordinary engineering capabilities to bear on bringing the power of low-cost digital services to a mass consumer and small businesses population. The market potential they are addressing is enormous”.
In Reliance Jio’s fiscal Q4 (calendar Q1) earnings report, Reliance Industries said INR280.6 billion of the injection from Facebook would go to reducing debt, with the remaining INR150 billion to be retained at Jio Platforms to drive future growth.
Reliance Jio nearly tripled its profit in the period, with 81 million mobile users added in the year to end-March.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back