On a Saturday night in India, it was party time in Jio Platforms, the digital subsidiary of Reliance Industries helmed by India's richest man Mukesh Ambani.
Two more big investors, TPG Capital and L Catterton, put in $600 million (Rs 4,546.80 crore) and $250 million (Rs. 1894.50 crore) respectively in Jio Platforms.
This would mean Jio Platforms has now secured more than $13.7 billion by selling about 22.3% stake to nine investors Facebook, Silver Lake (1 and 2), KKR, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, Mubadala, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, TPG, and L Catterton in the past eight weeks.
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The first investment of the night was from TPG Capital. Though it was speculated that might invest over a billion, it settled for $600 million (Rs 4,546.80 crore).
The investment will translate into a 0.93% equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis for TPG.
TPG is a leading global alternative asset firm founded in 1992 with more than $79 billion of assets under management across a wide range of asset classes, including private equity, growth equity, real estate and public equity. Its investments in global technology companies include Airbnb, Uber, and Spotify, among others.
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, said, “Today, I am happy to welcome TPG as valued investors in our continued efforts towards digitally empowering the lives of Indians through the creation of a digital ecosystem. We have been impressed by TPG’s track record of investing in global technology businesses which serve hundreds of millions of consumers and small businesses, making the societies we live in better.”
Jim Coulter, Co-CEO TPG, said, “We are excited to partner Reliance to invest in Jio. As an investor in growth, change, and innovation for over 25 years – and with a longstanding presence in India — we are excited to play an early role in Jio's journey as they continue to transform and advance India's digital economy. Jio is a disruptive industry leader that is empowering small businesses and consumers across India by providing them with critical, high-quality digital services. The company is bringing unmatched potential and execution capabilities to the market, setting the tone for all technology companies to come.”
TPG is making the investment from its TPG Capital Asia, TPG Growth, and TPG Tech Adjacencies (TTAD) funds.
L Catterton, the second investor of the night, came up with $250 million (Rs 1894.50 crore). L Catterton’s investment will translate into a 0.39% equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis.
Founded in 1989, L Catterton is an investor in consumer-focused brands around the world. With a partnership with LVMH and Groupe Arnault, L Catterton has successfully invested in brands like Peloton, Vroom, ClassPass, Owndays, FabIndia, PVR Cinemas.
Mukesh Ambani said, “I particularly look forward to gaining from L Catterton’s invaluable experience in creating consumer-centric businesses because technology and consumer experience need to work together to propel India to achieving digital leadership.”
Michael Chu, Global Co-CEO of L Catterton, said, “Over our more than 30 year history, we have established a track record of building many of the most important brands across all consumer categories and geographies, from retailers, omni-channel and digitally native brands. We are strong supporters of fostering growth through product development, enhanced digital capabilities and strategic alliances. We look forward to partnering with Jio, which is uniquely positioned to execute on its vision and mission to transform the country and build a digital society for 1.3 billion Indians through its unmatched digital and technological capabilities.”
In total, Jio Platforms has now secured more than $13.7 billion (Rs 104,326.95 crore) by selling about 22.3 stake in around two months time.
Jio Platforms, with more than 388 million subscribers, has made significant investments across its digital ecosystem, powered by leading technologies spanning broadband connectivity, smart devices, cloud and edge computing, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, augmented and mixed reality and blockchain.
The deals are expected to help RIL retire a substantial chunk of its net debt of Rs 1.6 trillion at the end of March.
Hope for Indian companies
Jio Platforms getting a bucket-load of heavy-duty investments from global biggies also augurs well for Indian business sentiments.
In a climate of anti-China, both in India and elsewhere, these deals are seen as a big booster for India Inc. Some experts see it as a post-coronavirus trend, when the American and Middle-East based global corporations tilt towards India, as against China.
This is also the trigger for other companies in India to seek out big investors from elsewhere. Bharti Airtel is reportedly in talks with Amazon and Vodafone Idea was said to be negotiating with Google, though the latter one has been denied by the company.
(Your one-stop guide to Jio Platforms and its investors is here).
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