Reliance Industries on Sunday said it sold 1.16% stake in its digital unit to Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) for ₹5,683.50 crore, taking the cumulative fund raising to ₹97,885.65 crore that will help pare debt at the oil-to-telecom conglomerate.“This investment values Jio Platforms at an equity value of ₹4.91 lakh crore and an enterprise value of ₹5.16 lakh crore. ADIA’s investment will translate into a 1.16% equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis,” the company said in a statement. With this investment, Jio Platforms has raised ₹97,885.65 crore from leading global investors including Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, KKR, Mubadala and ADIA in less than seven weeks. The AIDA deal comes within days of Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co picking up 1.85% in Jio Platforms for ₹9,093.60 crore on June 5. On that day, private equity fund Silver Lake invested another ₹4,546.80 crore for additional 0.93% stake in Jio Platforms. With these investment, Reliance has sold all of the targeted 21% equity in Jio Platforms ahead of a potential IPO.
Jio Platforms, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd, is a next-generation technology company. Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, with 388 million mobile subscribers, will continue to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jio Platforms. The deals follows Facebook picking up a 9.99% stake in the firm that houses India’s youngest but largest telecom firm on April 22 for ₹43,574 crore. Within days of that deal, Silver Lake – the world’s largest tech investor – bought a 1.15% stake in Jio Platforms for ₹5,665.75 crore on May 4. On May 8, U.S.-based Vista Equity Partners bought 2.32% stake in Jio Platforms for ₹11,367 crore. On May 17, global equity firm General Atlantic picked up 1.34% stake in Jio Platforms for ₹6,598.38 crore. This was followed by U.S. private equity giant KKR buying 2.32% for ₹11,367 crore. On June 5, Silver Lake made an additional investment to take its stake to 2.08%. Established in 1976, ADIA is a globally-diversified investment institution that prudently invests funds on behalf of the Government of Abu Dhabi through a strategy focused on long-term value creation. It manages a global investment portfolio that is diversified across more than two dozen asset classes and sub-categories. Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, said, “I am delighted that ADIA, with its track record of more than four decades of successful long-term value investing across the world, is partnering with Jio Platforms in its mission to take India to digital leadership and generate inclusive growth opportunities. This investment is a strong endorsement of our strategy and India’s potential“.
The transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary approvals.“Jio Platforms is at the forefront of India’s digital revolution, poised to benefit from major socio-economic developments and the transformative effects of technology on the way people live and work. The rapid growth of the business, which has established itself as a market leader in just four years, has been built on a strong track record of strategic execution. Our investment in Jio is a further demonstration of ADIA’s ability to draw on deep regional and sector expertise to invest globally in market leading companies and alongside proven partners,” Hamad Shahwan Aldhaheri, Executive Director of the Private Equities Department at ADIA, said. Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisor to Reliance Industries and AZB & Partners, and Davis Polk & Wardwell acted as legal counsel.Mr. Ambani, 63, chairman and managing director of Reliance, had in August last year set a target of March 2021, to make his conglomerate net debt-free. But thanks to the Facebook deal, a ₹53,125 crore rights issue, private equity investments, and more stake sale to companies such as Saudi Aramco, the target is likely to be achieved by December. At the end of March quarter, Reliance had an outstanding debt of ₹3,36,294 crore and cash in hand of ₹1,75,259 crore. After adjusting cash, the net debt came to ₹1,61,035 crore. Of the outstanding debt, ₹2,62,000 crore is on Reliance books and ₹23,000 crore is with Jio.
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