India’s Reliance says global investment firm TPG to invest $598 mln in digital unit

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Indian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Reliance Industries said on Saturday that global investment firm TPG will buy a 0.93 percent stake in its digital unit Jio Platforms for 45.46 billion rupees ($598 million).

Reliance, controlled by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, has now sold nearly 22 percent of Jio Platforms to investors including Facebook Inc, securing $13.47 billion since late April.

Last Sunday, Reliance said that the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority will buy a 1.16 percent stake in Jio Platforms for $752 million.

“Jio is a disruptive industry leader that is empowering small businesses and consumers across India by providing them with critical, high-quality digital services,” TPG co-CEO Jim Coulter said in a statement.

With more than $79 billion of assets under management, TPG is an investor in global technology companies including Airbnb, Uber, and Spotify.

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Its investment in Jio Platforms, which comprises Reliance’s telecoms arm Jio Infocomm and its music and video streaming apps, gives the unit an enterprise value of $67.87 billion, Reliance said.

Jio Infocomm is India’s biggest telecoms firm by subscribers, with more than 376 million users. It has forced out several rivals and driven consolidation in the sector since entering the market in 2016 with free voice service and cut-price data.

The Jio Platforms deals, along with a $7 billion share sale, will help Reliance meet its target of eliminating $21.4 billion of net debt by the end of the year, according to the company.

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