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Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, Reliance Industries in talks to invest $1 billion in Jio's fibre assets

Deal could strengthen ties between RIL and the Kingdom further as Saudi oil major Saudi Aramco is also in talks with RIL to buy a big stake in its petrochemical and refining business

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | August 21, 2020 | Updated 12:20 IST
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, Reliance Industries in talks to invest $1 billion in Jio's fibre assets
RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani

After raking in billions of dollars from marquee investors for his new tech company Jio Platforms, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries may soon sell more stake in its subsidiary to Saudi Arabia based Public Investment Fund (PIF) for investment worth $1 billion in Jio fibre assets. Neither PIF nor RIL have come out with any official statement as yet.

Apart from PIF, its rival fund, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) has also been in talks with Reliance Industries (RIL) for a similar investment worth $1 billion in the fire business, The Economic Times reported citing sources.  

The talks are in line with PIF's plan to rejig its $300 billion worth portfolio. These two sovereign funds have already invested about $2.2 billion in Jio Platforms' $20.8 billion fund-raising exercise, which comprised the world's 13 major tech investors coming on board to buy a stake in JPL.

It's not sure at this stage that talks with these two funds will result in possible funding deal. But if these two deals reach the final stage, the ties between RIL and the Kingdom, and other Gulf nations will be strengthened further, say experts.

Also read: Mukesh Ambani to steer Reliance Industries to a green future; cut in CO2 emission top priority

Notably, the world's biggest company in terms of market cap, Saudi oil major Saudi Aramco is also in talks with RIL to buy a big stake in its petrochemical and refining business.

The Saudi Kingdom-controlled company had announced two major investment plans in the country -- the strategic investment in the greenfield petroleum refinery in Maharashtra and the $15 billion worth stake acquisition in the refining and petrochemicals business of Reliance Industries (RIL).

Also read: Jio Platforms' adoption of AI, blockchain, IoT new hurdles for Mukesh Ambani

Currently, Jio Platforms has seen RIL diluting its stake to 32.97 per cent to over a dozen strategic as well as financial investors. Two big strategic investors Facebook and Google have taken an equity stake of 9.99 per cent and 7.73 per cent, respectively.

A next-generation asset-light company, Jio Platforms has an equity valuation in the range of Rs 4.36 lakh crore to Rs 4.91 lakh crore valued by strategic and financial investors.

The total investments from financial and strategic investors into Jio Platforms has so far reached Rs 152,056 crore. The other big investors in the company are Silver Lake, Vista, General Atlantic, KKR, Mubadala,  TPG, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Intel Capital and Qualcomm etc.

Also read: Saudi Aramco losses to derail investment in Reliance

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