KKR to invest US$1.5b in Jio Platforms

Jio Platforms raises Rs. 11,367 crore from KKR Details here

This is the fifth deal Reliance has struck in four weeks for sale of minority stake in the unit that houses India's youngest but largest telecom firm, Jio. "We are investing behind Jio Platforms' impressive momentum, world-class innovation and strong leadership team, and we view this landmark investment as a strong indicator of KKR's commitment to supporting leading technology companies in India and Asia Pacific". With the latest investment, KKR and Vista Equity Partner will be the third-largest stakeholders in the company.

The deal pegs Jio Platform's equity value at Rs 4.91 trillion and its enterprise value at Rs 5.16 trillion, the same valuation at which General Atlantic bought a stake in the unit just days earlier. These together amount to Rs 78,562 crore of investments into Jio Platforms.

Jio, which plans to list on the stock exchanges in a few years, offers global investors an attractive opportunity in the Indian market where rapid digitisation is expected to take place post-Covid, said RIL. Facebook, which primed the way for a string of transactions in Jio with its investment of Rs 43,574 crore for a 9.9% stake in April, has one seat on the board of the Indian company. So far, Jio Platforms has attracted a total investment of Rs 78,562 crore.

Founded in 1976, KKR has a long history of building leading global enterprises and successfully investing in businesses in the technology sector, including BMC Software, ByteDance and GoJek, through its private equity and technology growth funds.

Prior to KKR's investment, Jio platforms have received investments from Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista, General Atlantic.

Often saying "data is the new oil", Ambani has sought to diversify his empire away from energy and petrochemicals, beginning in 2016 with the establishment of Jio Infocomm which is now India's biggest telecom carrier with more than 376 million subscribers.

The relationship between RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani and KKR's co-founder Henry Karvis goes back several years, as the two had discussed potential collaboration for shale gas assets in the United States in 2010. It is making the investment from its Asia private equity and growth technology funds.

The transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary approvals in India. KKR has a big presence in India and has been investing here since 2006.

And, that is not it. Jio Platforms also holds Reliance's home broadband business Jio Fiber, feature phone business, music streaming service JioSaavn, on-demand live television service, and a payments service, among other things.

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