Saudi wealth fund PIF to invest Rs 11,367 crore in Jio

Reliance Jio on Thursday announced that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) would be investing Rs 11,367 crore in exchange for a 2.32 per cent equity stake in Jio Platforms. With this investment, Jio Platforms has raised about ₹1.16 trillion from 11 investors in just eight weeks, signifying the rapid digitization opportunity in India and emergence of latest technologies such as AI, Blockchain, AR/VR, Big data for individuals and businesses.

Starting with Facebook’s ₹43,574 crore investment announced on 22 April, Jio Platforms has secured investment commitment from a number of large global private equity players. Jio’s ten investors include Facebook, Silver Lake (which announced two rounds of investment), Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, KKR, Mubadala, ADIA, TPG, L Catterton and now the PIF.

Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, said, “We at Reliance have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for many decades. 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. I welcome PIF as a valued partner in Jio Platforms and look forward to their sustained support and guidance as we take ambitious steps to accelerate India’s digital transformation for enriching and empowering the lives of 1.3 billion Indians.”

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of PIF, said “We are delighted to be investing in an innovative business which is at the forefront of the transformation of the technology sector in India. 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.”

The release added that the investment would be subject regulatory approval. This is noteworthy as the Competition Commission of India, India’s anti-trust watchdog, is currently currently reviewing Facebook’s proposed investment in Jio Platforms. Facebook would have the largest single stake in the company with a 9.9 per cent stake valued at Rs 43,574 crore ($5.7 billion).

 Other than PIF, Facebook investing Rs 43,573.62 crore for a 9.99 per cent stake on April 22. This was closely followed by a further Rs 60,753.33 crore in investment

Silver Lake – the world’s largest tech investor – bought a 1.15 per cent stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 5,665.75 crore on May 4. It invested another Rs 4,546.80 crore for additional 0.93 per cent stake on June 5, taking its total holding to 2.08 per cent

Private equity KKR and Vista Equity Partners have taken 2.32 per cent stake each for Rs 11,367 crore apiece. KKR invested in Jio Platforms on May 22 while Vista invested on May 8.

Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co picked up 1.85 per cent in Jio Platforms for Rs 9,093.60 crore on June 5. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority on June 7 invested Rs 5,683.50 crore for a 1.16 per cent stake in Jio Platforms.

On May 17 global equity firm General Atlantic picked up 1.34 per cent stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 6,598.38 crore. Global investment firm TPG on June 13 picked up 0.93 per cent for Rs 4,546.80 crore while L Catterton bought 0.39 per cent for Rs 1,894.50 crore.

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