Reliance says TPG and L Catterton to invest $847 million in Jio Platforms

Commuters use their mobile phones as they wait at a bus stop with an advertisement of Reliance Industries’ Jio telecoms unit, in Mumbai, July 10, 2017. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Indian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Reliance Industries <RELI.NS> raised a total of 64.4 billion Indian rupees ($847 million) from the sale of two stakes in its digital unit Jio Platforms, the group said on Saturday.

Global investment firm TPG will buy a 0.93% stake for $598 million, while private equity firm L Catterton will pick up a 0.39% stake for $249 million, Reliance said.

Controlled by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, Reliance has now sold just over 22% of Jio Platforms to investors including Facebook Inc <FB.O>, securing $13.72 billion in eight weeks.

“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 technology companies including Airbnb, Uber <UBER.N> and Spotify <SPOT.N>.

L Catterton, which has a partnership with French luxury group LVMH <LVMH.PA> and investment firm Groupe Arnault, concentrates on consumer-focused brands.

The investments in Jio Platforms, which comprises Reliance’s telecoms arm Jio Infocomm and its music and video streaming apps, give 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 services and cut-price data.

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



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