NEW DELHI: India’s Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on Friday announced a $1.5 billion (Rs 11,367) stake sale in digital unit Jio Platforms, a third deal in a little over two weeks that will inject a combined $8 billion in the telecoms-to-energy group to help it pare debt.
Private equity firm Vista Equity Partners is buying a 2.3% stake in Jio Platforms, the unit that houses Reliance’s telecoms venture Jio Infocomm, for 113.67 billion rupees ($1.5 billion), Mumbai-headquartered Reliance said in a statement.
The deals, along with its plan to sell $7 billion in new shares, will help Reliance meet its target of eliminating $21.4 billion of net debt by the end of the year.
This investment values Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 4.91 lakh crore and an enterprise value of Rs 5.16 lakh crore. Vista’s investment will translate into a 2.32% equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis, making Vista the largest investor in Jio Platforms behind Reliance Industries and Facebook. Jio Platforms has now raised Rs 60,596.37 crore from leading technology investors in less than three weeks.
Jio Platforms, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, is a next-generation technology company building a Digital Society for India by bringing together Jio’s leading digital apps, digital ecosystems and India’s #1 high speed connectivity platform under one umbrella. Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, which provides connectivity platform to over 388 million subscribers, will continue to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jio Platforms.
Jio’s vision is to enable a Digital India for 1.3 billion people and businesses throughout India, especially small merchants, micro-businesses and farmers. Jio has brought transformational changes in the Indian digital services space and propelled India on the path towards becoming a global technology leader and among the leading digital economies in the world.
Vista is a leading global investment firm focused on empowering and growing enterprise software, data and technology enabled companies that are reinventing industries and catalyzing change. Vista has more than $57 billion in cumulative capital commitments and its global network of companies collectively represent the 5th largest enterprise software company in the world. With 20 years of investing experience exclusively in enterprise software, Vista believes the transformative power of technology is the key to an even better future — a healthier planet, a smarter economy, a diverse and inclusive community, and a broader path to prosperity. Currently, Vista portfolio companies have a significant presence in India with over 13,000 employees.
This investment by Vista, which exclusively focuses on enterprise software, data and technology enabled companies, is further testament to the world-class digital platform that Jio has built, powered by leading technologies, such as Broadband connectivity, Smart Devices, Cloud and Edge Computing, Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Augmented and Mixed Reality and Blockchain.
Commenting on the transaction with Vista, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Ltd, said, “I am delighted to welcome Vista, one of the world’s marquee tech investors globally as a valued partner. Like our other partners, Vista also shares with us the same vision of continuing to grow and transform the Indian digital ecosystem for the benefit of all Indians. They believe in the transformative power of technology to be the key to an even better future for everyone. In Robert and Brian, whose family hails from Gujarat, I found two outstanding global technology leaders who believe in India and the transformative potential of a Digital Indian Society. We are excited to leverage the professional expertise and multi-level support that Vista has been offering to its investments globally for the benefit of Jio.”
Commenting on the investment, Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista, said, “We believe in the potential of the Digital Society that Jio is building for India. Mukesh’s vision as a global pioneer, alongside Jio’s world-class leadership team, have built a platform to scale and advance the data revolution it started. We are thrilled to join Jio Platforms to deliver exponential growth in connectivity across India, providing modern consumer, small business and enterprise software to fuel the future of one of the world’s fastest growing digital economies.”
The transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary approvals.
Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisor to Reliance Industries and AZB & Partners and Davis Polk & Wardwell acted as legal counsels. Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co served as legal counsels to Vista.