Saudi Arabia’s PIF in talks to invest $1 billion in Jio Platforms

Hyderabad: After raking in billions of dollars from investors to raise money for his new tech company Jio Platforms Ltd. (JPL), Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) may soon sell more stake to Saudi Arabia based Public Investment Fund (PIF) for investment worth $1 billion in its Jio Fibre assets.

However, neither PIF nor RIL has come out with any official statement as yet.

Apart from PIF, RIL is also in talks with PIF’s rival fund — Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) for a similar investment worth $1 billion in the fibre assets, The Economic Times reported citing sources.

These two sovereign funds have already invested about $2.2 billion in Jio Platforms’ $20.8 billion fund-raising exercises, which comprised the world’s 13 major tech investors coming on board to buy a stake in JPL.

At this stage, it is not certain that talks with these two funds will result in a 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.

Notably, one of the world’s biggest company in terms of market capitalization, 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. While the first one is a strategic investment in the Greenfield petroleum refinery in Maharashtra, the second one is worth $15 billion stake acquisition in the refining and petrochemicals business of RIL.

Currently, Jio has seen RIL diluting its stake to 32.97 per cent to over ten 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. The other big investors in the company are Silver Lake, Vista, General Atlantic, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Intel Capital and Qualcomm etc.

A next-generation asset-light company, Jio 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.

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