- Mukesh Ambani the richest man in Asia is on a roll and has added $8 Billion in less than 3 weeks after investment from Vista Partners in Jio.
Mukesh Ambani the richest man in Asia is on a roll. Jio Platforms, the Indian billionaire’s telecom and digital unit of oil and gas giant Reliance Industries, revealed on Friday that U.S. tech fund Vista Equity Partners would buy a 2.3 percent stake in it for $1.5 billion. This is the third investment Jio has gained in the past two and a half weeks, raising a total of $8 billion for a collective stake of $13.5 percent.
This started with a boom when the social networking company Facebook decided on April 22 to buy nearly 10 percent for $5.7 billion. And earlier this week, California-based private equity company Silver Lake Partners revealed that for $748 million it would buy just over 1 percent of Jio.
Vista’s investment value Jio Platforms at $65 billion in the same sum as Silver Lake — a Facebook transaction premium of 12.5 percent.
In a statement, he found in Robert Smith and Brian Sheth, Vista’s billionaire co-founders, Reliance Chairman and Managing Director Ambani, who has a net worth of $56 billion, said: “two exceptional global technology leaders who believe in India and the transformative potential of a Digital Indian Society.” (Disclosure: Reliance Industries owns Network18, a licensee of Forbes Media).
Smith added in a statement that Vista was “thrilled” to join Jio Platforms, where it would provide “modern consumer, small business and enterprise software to fuel the future of one of the fastest-growing digital economies in the world.” Vista is a leading global investment firm that invests more than $57 billion in cumulative capital in enterprise software, data, and technology-enabled companies. Vista’s portfolio includes businesses in India, where it also supports the Akshaya Patra Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides millions of meals to the school children in India.
With 388 million subscribers, Jio has become the growth driver of Reliance, helping to offset the decline in oil and petrochemicals alongside the fast-growing retail arm of the group. The overall annual sales of the company rose by 5 percent to $87.4 billion and in the fiscal year ended March 2020, it posted a net profit of $5.3 billion.
“The list of marquee investors keen to embark on the world’s most exciting digital transformation program, Jio, will only get longer over time,” says Ajay Bodke, CEO and Chief Portfolio Manager of Prabhudas Lilladher, a stockbroking company based in Mumbai. “What’s particularly remarkable is that these investors are regarded as leaders internationally.
Rajiv Sharma, head of equity research at SBICAP Securities, says Vista is typically investing in mid-market tech companies that deliver software-as-a-service goods, something that can be used by the neighborhood shops that Jio partners with to handle their billing and inventory, as well as local promotional campaigns, through its e-commerce platform JioMart.
“When you look at JioMart’s product and the dream there, the investment isn’t shocking,” Sharma says. “The world didn’t see this coming, but Vista is the perfect match.”
The Jio deals would help reduce the heavy debt burden on Reliance, which is at $44.4bn. Ambani said it is committed to raising Reliance’s net debt by 2021 to zero