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Qatar's sovereign wealth fund eyes $1.5 billion stake in Reliance JioFiber

BusinessToday.In     July 29, 2020

Doha-based Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is eying a $1.5 billion (Rs 11,200 crore) stake in JioFiber assets.

The sovereign fund is in advance talks with Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) to invest the amount in an infrastructure investment trust (InvIT) called Jio Digital Fiber Pvt Ltd that holds the company's fibre-optic assets.

The InvIT currently takes care of a 7 lakh kilometres countrywide fibre network and plans to broaden it further to 1.1 million kilometres.

Also Read: RIL won't dilute its holding in Jio Platforms below 64.44%

After raising over $20 billion via stake sales in its digital assets unit, Jio Platforms Ltd, RIL is now looking to monetise its fibre assets (held by Jio Digital Fiber Pvt Ltd).

"Fibre network business monetisation falls exactly in line with RIL's original plan to make Jio become an asset-light digital services company and save significantly on costs as the group is gearing up to offer affordable 5G services. It has an immense revenue generation potential," a source told the Mint, adding that QIA may invest $1.5-2 billion in RIL's fibre business.

Reliance has hired Citigroup Global Markets, ICICI Securities Ltd, and Moelis and Co. for the proposed deal with QIA.

Also Read: RIL AGM 2020 Highlights: Mukesh Ambani announces Google-Jio deal, mega 5G plan for India

Last year, a consortium led by Canada's Brookfield Asset Management invested Rs 25,215 crore in an InvIT holding RIL's telecom tower assets.

RIL's telecom subsidiary Reliance Jio Infocomm had in March 2019 demerged its fibre and tower businesses into Jio Digital Fibre Pvt. Ltd and Reliance Jio Infratel Pvt. Ltd.

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