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Mukesh Ambani Plans Overseas IPO For Reliance Jio: So Much For Make In India?

Mukesh Ambani Plans Overseas IPO For Reliance Jio: So Much For Make In India?

Reliance Industries is working with banks for an overseas listing of Jio Platforms

The stock exchange for the listing hasn’t been decided yet

The company is planning for an initial listing in the next 12 to 24 months

After raising billions in funding over the past few months, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Platforms is now looking to get publicly listed outside India. A Bloomberg report citing sources said that Reliance and Ambani are in discussions with banks for an overseas public listing of Jio Platforms. However, the stock exchange for the listing hasn’t been decided yet. The company is planning to list itself over the next 12 to 24 months, but no final decision has been taken on the timeline and size of the listing.

The development comes after recent investments in Reliance Jio. Most recently, US-based global investment firm KKR invested INR 11,367 Cr in Jio for 2.32% equity stake on a fully diluted basis. This transaction values Jio Platforms at an equity value of INR 4.91 Lakh Cr and an enterprise value of INR 5.16 Lakh Cr. 

Over the last month, the company has raised INR 78,562 Cr from technology investors like Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista, and General Atlantic, along with KKR. Facebook acquired a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms after investing INR 43,574 Cr ($5.7 Bn) in the company, whereas Vista Equity Partners acquired a 2.32% stake for INR 11,367 Cr ($1.5 Bn). Meanwhile, Silver Lake and General Atlantic invested INR 5,655 Cr ($746 Mn) and  INR 6,600 Cr respectively, in the company.

Jio Joins Indian Tech Companies Mulling Overseas IPOs

Jio Platforms is an umbrella company that manages Reliance’s digital services like Reliance Jio, Jio Fiber, MyJio, JioTV, JioCinema, Jio Mart JioNews and JioSaavn under one banner. Through this series of investments, Reliance said it wants to facilitate wide-scale digital adoption in India in the consumer and B2B space. Ambani believes that comprehensive digitisation is a vital part of revitalising the Indian economy as he has stated on many occasions in the past.

However, Jio’s plan to list abroad is a surprising move, considering it has always branded as an Indian company, focussed on solving the big problems in “Bharat” and has been called a key cog of the Digital India mission by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the central government on many occasions. In many ways, the launch of Reliance Jio was the real catalyst for the growth of India’s digital and tech economy. A massive IPO like Reliance Jio Platforms in India would attract more investments in the public market, which will also boost the funding prospects for other startups, given that venture capital funds are often tied in public markets.

Over the last year, several startups have announced plans to list abroad, which has drawn some criticism from the industry. And the government has also been trying to make public listings in India a very real possibility for startups through various measures. So it would be interesting to see the market reception for the Jio Platforms brand if indeed it does list abroad after pitching itself as an India-first company for so long.

With inputs from Nikhil Subramaniam