Intel's investment arm will pay Rs. 1,894.50 crores (roughly $255 million) for a small stake in Reliance Industries' digital unit Jio Platforms, the latest in a slew of share sales that have helped the Indian conglomerate pay down debt. Reliance has now sold just over a quarter of Jio Platforms, the unit that houses its telecoms venture Jio Infocomm, and its music and movie apps, raising $15.8 billion (Rs. 1,17,588.45 crores) from investors including Facebook and KKR.
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 Reliance is also using Jio Platforms' technology in its new e-commerce venture that seeks to rival Amazon and Walmart's Flipkart. Jio Platforms is also working on connected cars, security systems and smart homes.
The sale of the 0.39 percent stake for Rs. 1,894.50 crores gives Jio Platforms an enterprise value of Rs. 5.16 lakh crores ($69 billion), Reliance said in a statement.
The deals and a $7 billion (roughly Rs. 52,416 crores) share sale have helped Reliance become net-debt free, the company said last month. It had previously planned to rid itself of net debt of just over $21 billion (roughly Rs. 1.57 lakh crores) by the year end.
The oil-to-retail conglomerate, controlled by India's richest man Mukesh Ambani, plans to wrap up most of its private fundraising for Jio Platforms by the third quarter of 2020 and then explore a potential public listing in the United States in 2021, a source familiar with matter has said.
© Thomson Reuters 2020
Why do Indians love Xiaomi TVs so much? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.