Alphabet’s Google is in advanced talks with the Reliance Industries Ltd’s digital arm, Bloomberg report stated on Tuesday, extending the list of mega investors that have invested in India’s youngest but biggest telecom.
As per the report, the Mountain View, California-based titan is eyeing to buy a $4 billion stake in Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Jio Platforms.
However, no statement has been released from any of the sides yet.
Although Jio Platforms also comprises a wide range of services from music streaming to online retail and payments, the Jio Infocomm-the mobile carrier is company’s centrepiece. With this, the company is expected to use its 388 million mobile phone subscribers as the cornerstone of an e-commerce and digital services business to rival Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart.
RIL’s chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani has always pitched Jio Infocomm as a tech company instead of a traditional telco.
This approach has helped Ambani to attract some of the major investments almost worth $16 billion from top Silicon Valley investors including Facebook to KKR & Co. in the past three months.
The funding spree which began in April followed by a share sale by the Reliance Industries have also helped them to become India’s biggest company net-debt free.
The Jio Platforms deal spree began on April 22 when social networking giant Facebook agreed to acquire 9.99 per cent for Rs 43,573.62 crore and Qualcomm is the latest company to invest Rs 730 crore for 0.15 per cent stake in the digital unit.
Since then, six US private equity firms invested in Jio: Silver Lake Partners bought 2.08 per cent for Rs 10,202.55 crore, Vista Equity Partners paid Rs 11,367 crore for a 2.32 per cent stake, General Atlantic acquired a 1.34 per cent stake for Rs 6,598.38 crore, KKR paid Rs 11,367 crore for a 2.32 per cent stake, TPG bought a 0.93 per cent stake for Rs 4,546.80 crore and L Catterton picked up 0.39 per cent for Rs 1,894.50 crore.
Earlier this month, the investment arm of computer chip giant Intel Corp picked up 0.39 per cent stake for Rs 1,894.50 crore.
Jio Platforms has also received funds from the Middle East which started with Mubadala Investment Co which picked up a 1.85 per cent stake for Rs 9,093.60 crore and was followed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, as well as the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority buying 2.32 per cent and 1.16 per cent stake for Rs 11,367 crore and Rs 5,683.50 crore, respectively.
Qualcomm’s investment values Jio at Rs 4.91 lakh crore – the same amount as the previous several deals and a 12.5 per cent premium to the first investment by Facebook.