An Abu Dhabi-based independent business firm Mubadala recently became one of the latest investors in Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Platforms, including Facebook and Silver Lake that have managed to acquire stakes in India’s biggest telecom operator at the height of a once-in-a-century global pandemic.
Mubadala gave a nod to finally invest $1.2 billion in Reliance i Jio Platforms for a 1.85% stake in the firm. Launched in the second half of 2016, at $65 billion, the deal valued the Indian telecom sector.
A subordinate of Reliance Industries and the most prestigious firm in India, its sole businesses include oil refining and petrochemicals, Reliance Jio Platforms has raked in $11.5 billion by selling 19% stake in the last seven weeks.
“Through my longstanding ties with Abu Dhabi, I have personally seen the impact of Mubadala’s work in diversifying and globally connecting the UAE’s knowledge-based economy. We look forward to benefitting from Mubadala’s experience and insights from supporting growth journeys across the world,” Mukesh Ambani, the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, mentioned in a statement.
Techcrunch states, this announcement further showcases a heartfelt plea of Jio Platforms to foreign investors that are looking for a chunk of the world’s second-largest internet market. Media reports have also stated in recent weeks that Amazon is considering purchase of stakes worth at least $2 billion in Bharti Airtel, India’s third-largest telecom operator, while Google has been in talks for a similar deal in Vodafone Idea, the second largest telecom operator.
India has grown to be one of the major global battlegrounds for Silicon Valley and Chinese firms that are searching for opportunities to win the nation’s 1.3 billion people, most of whom still remains without a smartphone and internet connection.
Khaldoon Al Mubarak, managing director and group chief executive of Mubadala Investment Company, asserted, “We have seen how Jio has already transformed communications and connectivity in India, and as an investor and partner, we are committed to supporting India’s digital growth journey. With Jio’s network of investors and partners, we believe that the platform company will further the development of the digital economy.”
Mubadala, which ought to own more than $229 billion in assets, has also invested in AMD and Alphabet’s Waymo, and SoftBank.
This new capital venture should aid Ambani, further strengthen his commitment and relationships with investors when he pledged to reduce Reliance’s net debt of about $21 billion to zero by early 2021 — because of the major investments it has made to give a structure to Jio Platforms, said Mahesh Uppal, director of Com First, a communications consultancy.
Its core business, oil refining and petrochemicals has taken a huge fall since the coronavirus outbreak. Its net profit in the quarter that ended on March 31 fell by 37%.