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Reliance gets third investor for Jio, sells $1.5 bn stake to Vista Equity
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Reliance Industries Ltd said on Friday US-based Vista Equity Partners will invest Rs 11,367 crore ($1.5 billion) in its digital unit, Jio Platforms Ltd.

The private equity firm’s investment will translate into a 2.32% stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis, the energy-to-telecom conglomerate said in a statement.

This investment values Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 4.91 trillion and an enterprise value of Rs 5.16 trillion, Reliance said.

Vista will be the largest investor in Jio Platforms behind Reliance and Facebook Inc. The US-based social media giant last month said it would invest Rs 43,574 crore ($5.7 billion) in Jio Platforms. 

And earlier this month, US-based private equity firm Silver Lake Partners agreed to invest Rs 5,655.75 crore ($747 million) in the digital unit.

Jio Platforms has now raised Rs 60,596.37 crore from the three investors -- Facebook, Silver Lake and Vista -- in less than three weeks.

Vista was set up by Robert F Smith and Brian Sheth in 2000. The investment firm focuses on picking up stakes in software and technology-enabled businesses.

The firm has over $57 billion in capital commitments across its investment strategies, which also include credit and long-term ‘permanent capital’. While primarily investing in companies in the US, it also maintains an international presence in countries such as Spain, the United Kingdom and Canada.

Morgan Stanley, AZB & Partners and Davis Polk & Wardwell acted as the financial and legal advisers to Reliance on the investment, while law firms Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co served as Vista’s advisors.

Shares of Reliance were trading 3.68% up at Rs 1,562.7 apiece at the time of writing this report. Going by BSE data, the stock’s price has jumped from Rs 1,192.15 to its current levels in the past one month.

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance had created Jio Platforms late last year to house all its digital businesses, while at the same time absorbing the $13.5 billion debt of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, its telecommunications business.

These moves – including investments by Facebook, Silver Lake and Vista – are part of its dual goals of monetising its telecom arm as well as reducing its debt. 

Previously, Reliance had sliced out its telecom infrastructure assets including towers and roped in Canadian investor Brookfield to seal the biggest private equity deal ever in India worth some $3.7 billion.

Last year, it also announced plans to sell a 20% stake in its oil-to-chemicals business to Saudi Aramco for around $15 billion.

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