This deal highlights Jio Platforms’ potential to become the dominant player in India’s digital economy.
Intel Corp’s investment arm will initiate $255 million payment for a small stake in Reliance Industries Ltd.’s digital unit Jio Platforms, the latest in a slew of share sales that have helped the Indian conglomerate pay down debt.
Reliance has now sold just over a quarter of Jio Platforms, the unit that houses its telecoms venture Jio Infocomm and its music and movie apps, raising $15.8 billion from investors including Facebook Inc and KKR & Co.
The telecoms unit has already decimated several rivals with unsparing pricing, while Reliance is also using Jio Platforms’ technology in its new e-commerce venture that seeks to rival Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart.
The sale of the 0.39% stake for 18.95 billion rupees gives Jio Platforms an enterprise value of 5.16 trillion rupees ($69 billion), Reliance said in a statement.
The oil-to-retail conglomerate, controlled by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, plans to wrap up most of its private fundraising for Jio Platforms by the third quarter of 2020 and then explore a potential public listing in the United States in 2021, a source familiar with matter has said.