FILE PHOTO: Mukesh D. Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd. Adeel Halim/Bloomberg via Getty Images
INDIAN oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Reliance Industries said on Friday (5) that Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Investment Co will buy a 1.85 per cent stake in its digital unit, Jio Platforms, for $1.2 billion (£ 959.6 million).
Reliance has now sold a combined 19 per cent interest in Jio Platforms, which houses movie, music apps and telecoms venture Jio Infocomm, in six fundraising deals including a 9.99 per cent stake sale to Facebook for $5.7 billion.
The interest in Jio Platforms highlights its potential to become the dominant player in India’s digital economy. The telecoms unit has already decimated several rivals with cut-throat pricing and is counting on Reliance’s retail network to expand into e-commerce.
The Jio Platforms investment is the largest in an Indian firm by Mubadala, which is the second-biggest state investor in Abu Dhabi after Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), managing about $240 billion in assets.
The other recent investors in Jio Platforms are private-equity firms General Atlantic, Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, and KKR & Co.
Morgan Stanley served as a financial adviser to Reliance Industries, the company said in a statement.
The parent company Reliance Industries on June 3 completed a massive $7 billion rights issue in what it touted as the world’s biggest by a non-financial institution in a decade.
Reliance, owned by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, had said the fundraising drive was meant to pay down debt and help shift the company to a digital future.
The firm said in a statement said that the rights issue was subscribed 1.59 times and attracted “huge investor interest”.