By The Statesman/ANN
Alphabet Inc’s Google will invest Rs 33,737 crore for a 7.7 per cent stake in Reliance Industries’ digital unit, Jio Platforms, company’s chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani said at the group’s 43rd annual general meeting on Wednesday.
“We are delighted to welcome Google as a strategic investor in Jio Platforms. We have signed a binding partnership and an investment agreement under which Google will invest Rs 33,737 crores for a 7.7 per cent stake in Jio Platforms,” Ambani said during his company’s first-ever virtual annual general meeting.
This is the 14th investment in Jio Platforms since April 22, the date when Facebook agreed to acquire 9.99 per cent for Rs 43,573.62 crore.
With this latest investment, Reliance Industries have raised Rs 2,12,809 crore in less than three months. This includes investments by Facebook and other investors in Jio Platforms and Rs 53,124 crore Rights Issue, and investment by BP in fuel retailing venture.
“It is in excess of our net debt of Rs 1,61,035 crore at the end of FY19-20,” he said. “Reliance is now truly a zero net debt company, well ahead of my goal of March 2021. It has an extremely strong Balance Sheet that will support growth plans for its three Hyper-Growth Engines Jio, Retail and O2C.”
Reliance has concluded its JV with BP in the existing fuel retailing business. “BP has invested Rs 7,629 crore for their 49 per cent stake in the JV,” he said.
Google joins a slew of companies that have invested in Reliance Industries’ Jio Platforms.
Since April 22, six US private equity firms invested in Jio: Silver Lake Partners bought 2.08 per cent for Rs 10,202.55 crore, Vista Equity Partners paid Rs 11,367 crore for a 2.32 per cent stake, General Atlantic acquired a 1.34 per cent stake for Rs 6,598.38 crore, KKR paid Rs 11,367 crore for a 2.32 per cent stake, TPG bought a 0.93 per cent stake for Rs 4,546.80 crore and L Catterton picked up 0.39 per cent for Rs 1,894.50 crore,
A few days ago, Qualcomm invested Rs 730 crore in Jio Platforms for 0.15 per cent stake. Earlier this month, the investment arm of computer chip giant Intel Corp picked up 0.39 per cent stake for Rs 1,894.50 crore.
Jio Platforms has also received a funds from the Middle East which started with Mubadala Investment Co which picked up a 1.85 per cent stake for Rs 9,093.60 crore and was followed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, as well as the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority buying 2.32 per cent and 1.16 per cent stake for Rs 11,367 crore and Rs 5,683.50 crore, respectively.