KKR to invest $2.1b in Reliance Industries' digital unit

NEW DELHI • United States private equity giant KKR & Co will invest 113.67 billion rupees (S$2.1 billion) in Reliance Industries' Jio Platforms, its biggest investment in Asia to date. This brings the amount of new funds raised by the Indian digital company this month to a massive US$10 billion (S$14.2 billion).

Jio Platforms, which houses movie and music apps and telecoms venture Jio Infocomm, has now sold a combined stake of just over 17 per cent in five fund-raising deals led by Facebook, which spent US$5.7 billion to take 9.99 per cent. The other recent investors are General Atlantic, Silver Lake and Vista Equity Partners.

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 it can count on Reliance's retail network to expand e-commerce.

KKR's purchase of a 2.32 per cent stake pegs Jio Platforms' equity value at roughly US$65 billion, making it India's second most valuable firm after IT services company Tata Consultancy Services.

"We are investing behind Jio Platforms' impressive momentum, world-class innovation and strong leadership team," Mr Henry Kravis, co-founder and co-chief executive of KKR, said in a statement yesterday.

The US$10 billion in new funds raised will also help Reliance meet its target of eliminating US$21.4 billion in net debt this year.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2020, with the headline 'KKR to invest $2.1b in Reliance Industries' digital unit'. Subscribe