KKR to invest $1.5b in Reliance’s digital unit Jio Platforms

FILE PHOTO: A general view of Reliance Jio headquarters is seen on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, June 1, 2016. REUTERS/Clara Ferreira Marques/File Photo

KKR & Co Inc will invest $1.5 billion in Reliance Industries’ Jio Platforms, its biggest investment in Asia to date and bringing the amount of new funds raised by the Indian digital company this month to a massive $10 billion.

Jio Platforms, which houses movie, music apps and telecoms venture Jio Infocomm, has now sold a combined stake of just over 17% in five fundraising deals led by Facebook Inc which spent $5.7 billion to take 9.99%.

The deals highlight Jio Platforms’ potential to become the dominant player in India’s digital economy. The telecoms unit has already decimated several rivals with cut-throat pricing, while it can count on Reliance’s retail network to expand e-commerce. It is also working on connected cars, security systems and smart homes.

KKR’s purchase of a 2.32% stake for 113.67 billion rupees, pegs Jio Platforms’ equity value at roughly $65 billion, making it India’s second most valuable firm after IT services company Tata Consultancy Services.

“We are investing behind Jio Platforms’ impressive momentum, world-class innovation and strong leadership team,” Henry Kravis, co-founder and co-CEO of the U.S. buyout firm, said in a statement on Friday.

The $10 billion in new funds raised will also help Reliance meet its target of eliminating $21.4 billion in net debt this year. The oil-to-telecoms giant, controlled by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, is also selling $7 billion in new shares.

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 other recent investors were General Atlantic, Silver Lake and Vista Equity Partners.

KKR has invested more than $30 billion in tech companies, including China’s ByteDance and Indonesian digital payments firm GoJek.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.