Jio scouting for more investors

Reliance Jio is reported to be in various stages of discussion with KKR & Co, PIF and Mubadala.

KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts), a leading global investment firm manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR India Financial Services Limited (“KIFSL”). Headed by Sanjay Nayar in India, in January 2020,  KKR made a fresh equity commitment of $150 million, backing its wholesale non-banking credit arm KIFSL. It was the second time the parent had infused ‘confidence’ capital after putting in $100 million in 2009.

PIF. The Public Investment Fund (PIF) is the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia.

It is among the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world with total estimated assets of $320 billion. It was founded for the purpose of investing funds on behalf of the Government of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia aims at transferring the PIF from a mere local authority to the largest sovereign fund in the world. Thus, PIF is working on managing assets worth $400 billion by 2020. The PIF has a portfolio made up of approximately 200 investments, of which around 20 are listed on Tadawul, the Saudi Stock Exchange. The Board is headed by the Crown Prince, HRH Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz (Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of CEDA), as the Chairman. For more than 46 years, the PIF has been a leading economic player and has contributed to the development of national investment entities constituting the foundation for overall development, while contributing to the establishment of many of the largest companies in KSA.

Mubadala,  a global investment company deploys capital with integrity across a variety of asset classes and geographies to generate sustainable risk-adjusted financial returns for the greater benefit of the United Arab Emirates.

Besides KKR, Saudi sovereign fund PIF is also said to be closing in on a stake purchase in Jio Platforms as the company continues to attract marque investors. Reliance is engaged in several parallel dialogues — including with sovereign wealth fund of UAE Mubadala — that are at various stages, said officials directly involved in the discussions.

This transaction would add to the investments that Jio has sealed in the past month,  the most recent being USD 870 million from General Atlantic for a 1.34% equity stake. Facebook Inc. in April agreed to pay USD 5.7 billion for a 10% stake in the digital unit, while Silver Lake and Vista Equity Partners said they would invest about $2.25 billion in total in two separate transactions this week.

The string of investments from technology giants and private equity firms will go toward slashing debt at Reliance Industries. The outside money also helps set a valuation for Jio, which until recently has been largely owned by the billionaire’s conglomerate.

CT Bureau

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