Jio Platforms raises over $13 billion as Abu Dhabi Investment Authority comes onboard

08, Jun. 2020

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NEW DELHI, NNA - Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) has become the eighth firm to join global technology and growth investors in betting big on Jio Platforms Ltd. as it capitalizes on the country’s fast-growing digital market.

ADIA, a globally-diversified investment institution that invests on behalf of the government of Abu Dhabi, announced on Sunday that it would pay 56.83 billion rupees ($750 million) to buy a 1.16 percent stake in India’s leading telecom and digital firm.

The move came after Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment Co., said it would invest 90.93 billion rupees for a 1.85 percent stake in Jio Platforms last Friday.

So far, the majority of the investors are American companies led by Facebook Inc., which sealed an agreement to acquire a 9.9 percent stake in April. The deal is also the largest so far.

The other investors are General Atlantic, Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, and KKR & Co Inc. Last Friday, Silver Lake said it would invest $600 million more in Jio, increasing its stake from 1.15 percent to 2.08 percent.

The latest tally now shows the wholly-owned subsidiary of the country’s oil-to-retail-to-telecom behemoth Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) has raised 978.85 billion rupees after selling more than 21 percent stake.

In a media statement, Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of RIL, said the ADIA investment was another ringing endorsement of the digital mission of Jio Platforms which was formed in 2017.

He said, "I am delighted that ADIA, with its track record of more than four decades of successful long-term value investing across the world, is partnering with Jio Platforms in its mission to take India to digital leadership and generate inclusive growth opportunities.”

Hamad Shahwan Aldhaheri, executive director of private equities at ADIA, said he believes Jio Platforms is poised to benefit from major socio-economic developments and the transformative effects of technology on the way people live and work in India.

“Our investment in Jio is a further demonstration of ADIA’s ability to draw on deep regional and sector expertise to invest globally in market leading companies and alongside proven partners,” he said in the media statement.

ADIA, which has invested increasingly more in India in recent years, holds directly or through its subsidiaries investments in numerous asset classes including equities, fixed income, real estate and private equity.

It is encouraged by the country’s strong economic growth and steadily maturing regulatory and legal systems, said the statement.

Jio Platforms, which is currently on an expansion drive to gain further traction in the country’s booming digital market, has created an increasingly broad digital eco-system under one umbrella.

As a leading mobile operator, it has revolutionized India's telecom market by making voice calls free for Jio customers across India to any network. To help the masses plug into the digital world, it has made data affordable, and plans to roll out more services to ease daily transactions.

With its partnership with Facebook, it seeks to provide its over 388 million subscribers with the convenience of buying goods and services on the popular WhatsApp messaging and Facebook Messenger apps.