Ambani’s Jio secures $253m investment from Intel Capital

Intel joins a number of global companies investing in Jio

Customer inside a Reliance Jio, the mobile network of Reliance Industries Ltd., store in Mumbai, India, on Sunday, Jan 19, 2020. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg
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The technology venture of billionaire Mukesh Ambani secured 18.95 billion rupees ($253 million/Dh929m) from Intel Capital, adding to a slew of investments since April that have reached more than $15bn.

The investment arm of computer chip giant Intel agreed to buy a 0.39 per cent stake in Jio Platforms, giving the business an equity value of $65bn, Ambani’s conglomerate Reliance Industries said in a statement Friday.

Intel Capital joins global names including Facebook, KKR & Co and Silver Lake Partners in backing Mr Ambani’s bid to transform Reliance into a digital services giant and reduce its dependence on revenue from oil refining and petrochemicals.

“Through this investment, we are excited to help fuel digital transformation in India, where Intel maintains an important presence,” Wendell Brooks, Intel Capital president, said in the statement.

Morgan Stanley acted as financial adviser to Reliance Industries.

Ambani’s digital unit has sold about 25 per cent in stakes and has said net debt is at zero earlier than the March 2021 target it set last year. Jio is expected to use its roughly 400 million wireless phone subscribers as the cornerstone of an e-commerce and digital services business.

The slew of stake sales have helped Reliance Industries shares double since late March, and the stock traded at a record high on Friday.

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, is also investing about $1.5bn in Jio in return for a 2.32 per cent stake.

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority as well as Mubadala Investment Company also bought stakes in the company with huge investments.

Adia has invested $753.4m for a 1.16 per cent equity stake in Jio, while Mubadala invested $1.2bn for a 1.85 per cent stake.