Facebook to invest $5.7 bn in RIL's Jio Platforms to pick up 9.99% stake

Facebook said that its focus would be to create ways for people and businesses to operate more effectively in a digitally growing economy
Facebook on Wednesday announced an investment of Rs 43,574 crore to pick a 9.9 per cent stake in Reliance Industries Limited's wholly-owned subsidiary, Jio Platforms, in what is being touted as the largest foreign direct investment for minority stake in India.

The company said, "Today we are announcing a $5.7 billion, or INR 43,574 crore, investment in Jio Platforms Limited, part of Reliance Industries Limited, making Facebook its largest minority shareholder."

“Reliance Industries Limited, Jio Platforms Limited and and Facebook today announced the signing of binding agreements for an investment of Rs 43,574 crore by Facebook into Jio Platforms,” Reliance Industries said in its statement.

Concurrent with the investment, Jio Platforms, Reliance Retail Limited and WhatsApp have also entered into a commercial partnership agreement to further accelerate Reliance Retail’s New Commerce business on the JioMart platform using WhatsApp and to support small businesses on WhatsApp.

The companies will work closely to ensure that consumers are able to access the nearest kiranas who can provide products and services to their homes by transacting seamlessly with JioMart using WhatsApp.

Commenting on the partnership with Facebook, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Ltd, said, “The synergy between Jio and Facebook will help realise Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ Mission with its two ambitious goals — ‘Ease of Living’ and ‘Ease of Doing  Business’ – for every single category of Indian people without exception.”

This investment by Facebook values Jio Platforms at Rs 4.62 trillion pre-money enterprise value ($65.95 billion, assuming a conversion rate of Rs 70 to a US$). Facebook’s investment will translate into a 9.99 per cent equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis, the statement said.

Reliance Jio, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries, has been the fastest-growing telecom network in the country since its launch in 2016. Jio has more than 388 million customers in India.

Facebook said that its focus would be to create ways for people and businesses to operate more effectively in a digitally growing economy. WhatsApp and Instagram, which are now a major part of lives of Indian people, are also owned by Facebook.

RIL claimed that this is the largest investment for a minority stake by a technology company anywhere in the world and the largest FDI in the technology sector in India.

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, "India is home to the largest communities on Facebook and WhatsApp, and a lot of talented entrepreneurs. The country is in the middle of a major digital transformation and organizations like Jio have played a big part in getting hundreds of millions of Indian people and small businesses online."

The transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary approvals.


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