Jio Platforms Is COVID-Resistant

With yet another investment, this time from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the digital unit of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries has now raised INR 97,885 crore in less than seven weeks.

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Jio Platforms, the digital unit of Reliance Industries, announced on Sunday that Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) would invest INR 5,683.50 crore in the company, reiterating the parent company's intention to be net debt free by March 2021.

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This deal, along with the earlier announced investments from Facebook, Silver Lake Partners, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, KKR and Mubadala, have given the Mukesh Ambani-led company a staggering INR 97,885 crore in less than seven weeks.

"Jio Platforms is at the forefront of India's digital revolution, poised to benefit from major socioeconomic developments and the transformative effects of technology on the way people live and work. The rapid growth of the business, which has established itself as a market leader in just four years, has been built on a strong track record of strategic execution," said Hamad Shahwan Aldhaheri, executive director of the private equities department at ADIA, in a statement.

ADIA, an institution that invests on behalf of the government of Abu Dhabi, will hold a 1.16 per cent stake in Jio Platforms through the investment, putting the equity value of the company at INR 4.91 lakh crore and enterprise value at INR 5.16 lakh crore.

"I am delighted that ADIA, with its track record of more than four decades of successful long-term value investing across the world, is partnering with Jio Platforms in its mission to take India to digital leadership and generate inclusive growth opportunities," said Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries.

Separately, Reliance Industries' rights issue of INR 53,124 crore saw a closure on Wednesday with investors subscribing to it 1.59 times. According to a statement released by the company, the overall commitment would amount to over INR 84,000 crore.

And while Jio Platforms being an attractive investment opportunity for global investors wouldn't come across as a surprise to anyone, what has especially shown the strength of the company is that this has happened during a global crisis that is COVID-19. It has hurt businesses across sectors, including some of the biggest names, forcing many to take a backseat.

In April, Reliance said that it would achieve zero net debt ahead of schedule, confident that it would complete its capital raise totalling INR 1.04 lakh crore by the end of the first quarter of this year.

The company's net debt was INR 1.61 lakh crore as of March 31, 2020 with major chunks having been spent over the last few years to set up and expand its digital offerings that include the hugely popular telecom operator Jio as well as the recently launched retail operations to challenge the likes of Amazon and Flipkart.