The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved Facebook’s acquisition of a 9.99 per cent stake in Reliance Industries Ltd’s telecom unit Jio Platforms for Rs 43,574 crore, per its tweet on Wednesday.
@CCI_India approves acquisition of 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms by Jaadhu Holdings LLC.
— CCI (@CCI_India) June 24, 2020
The US-based social media giant had announced its investment in Jio Platforms through Jaadhu Holdings LLC in April this year. The deal is expected to give Facebook a stronger foothold in India’s burgeoning digital market while also helping the Indian oil-to-telecom conglomerate significantly pare its debt.
In less than two months, Jio has raised Rs 1,15,693.95 crores ($15.2 billion) by selling about 24.7 per cent stake to global investors, including Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Silver Lake Partners, Vista Equity Partners, KKR, General Atlantic, Mubadala, TPG, and L Catterton.
Last week, Reliance Industries said it had become free of net debt ahead of a March 2021 target. “Our net-debt was Rs 161,035 crore, as on March 31 2020. With these investments, RIL has become net debt-free,” Reliance Industries said in a statement on Friday.
Jio Platforms, which is controlled by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, houses RIL’s telecom business under Reliance Jio Infocomm with over 388 million subscribers, besides other digital properties and investments. The company is likely to surpass 500 million users by 2023.
In January, Jio overtook other telecom companies to become the number one operator in India in terms of both subscriber base as well as revenue market share.