India’s Mukesh Ambani strikes third deal in less than 20 days


FILE PHOTO: Chairman and Managing Director of India's Reliance Industries Mukhesh Ambani (RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Chairman and Managing Director of India's Reliance Industries Mukhesh Ambani (RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani’s Jio Platforms has again wooed investors from the US. Tech fund Vista Equity Partners has invested $1.5 billion in the digital arm of Ambani’s Reliance Industries for 2.3 per cent stake, the company said on Friday (8).

Vista’s investment values Jio Platforms at $65 billion.

Jio has raised a total of $8 billion for $13.5 per cent stake in the entity in less than three weeks. The earlier investors were social media giant Facebook and PE firm Silver Lake Partners.

On April 22, Facebook acquired 10 per cent for $5.7 billion . Earlier this week, Silver Lake Partners said it would acquire just over one per cent in Jio for $748 million.

Mukesh Ambani, in a statement, described Vista’s cofounders Robert Smith and Brian Sheth as two outstanding global technology leaders who believe in India and the transformative potential of a Digital Indian Society.

Vista is a leading global investment firm that invests in enterprise software, data and technology-enabled companies with more than $57 billion in cumulative capital commitments. Vista’s portfolio includes companies in India, where it also supports the Akshaya Patra Foundation, a non-profit organisation, which provides millions of meals to India’s school children.

With 388 million subscribers, Jio has become Reliance’s growth engine, helping, along with the company’s fast-growing retail arm, to offset the decline in oil and petrochemicals. The company’s total annual revenue increased by five per cent to $87.4 billion and it reported a net profit of $5.3 billion in the fiscal year ended March 2020.

The Jio deals will help reduce Reliance’s debt burden of $44.4 billion. Reliance targets to become zero debt company by 2021.