On Thursday (June 18), Reliance Industries announced that Jio Platforms has received an investment of INR 11,367 Cr ($1.49 Bn) by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund for a 2.32% equity stake on a fully diluted basis. The investment values Jio Platforms at an equity value of INR 4.91 Lakh Cr and an enterprise value of INR 5.16 Lakh Cr.
With this investment, Jio Platforms has raised INR 1.15 Lakh Cr from leading global investors including Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, KKR, Mubadala, ADIA, TPG and L Catterton, since April 2020.
For several weeks, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF) has been speculated to join the list of investors in Jio Platforms. Other reports suggest that Reliance Jio is also in talks with Google and Microsoft, who are looking to acquire 6% stake each in the company for INR 30K Cr. However, it does not make business sense for the company to give up on 12% of its business, so it may eventually choose between the two entities.
The Public Investment Fund had its mandate broadened in 2015 by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to include international investments to support economic diversification.
The fund’s governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan had earlier said that the sovereign wealth fund is looking into “any opportunity” arising from the economic wreckage of the crisis. The fund expects to see “lots of opportunities,” he said, citing airlines, energy and entertainment companies as examples.
Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of PIF, said, “We believe that the potential of the Indian digital economy is very exciting and that Jio Platforms provides us with an excellent opportunity to gain access to that growth. This investment will also enable us to generate significant long-term commercial returns for the benefit of Saudi Arabia’s economy and our country’s citizens, in line with our mandate to safeguard and grow the national wealth of the Kingdom.”
Jio Platforms houses Reliance’ digital services like Reliance Jio, Jio Fiber, MyJio, JioTV, JioCinema, Jio Mart JioNews and JioSaavn under one banner. Jio Platforms was also reported to be in talks for an overseas public listing. 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.
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, said, “From Oil Economy, this relationship is now moving to strengthen India’s New Oil (data-driven) Economy, as is evident from PIF’s investment into Jio Platforms. I have greatly admired the defining role PIF has played in driving the economic transformation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”