With an aim to open new doors and fuelling India’s economic growth and the prosperity of its people, Facebook and Reliance Jio Platforms has announced the signing of binding agreements for an investment of Rs 43,574 crore by the social-networking giant into the wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited. This investment by Facebook will translate into a 9.99 percent equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis.
The partnership between Facebook and Jio is unprecedented in many ways. This is the largest investment for a minority stake by a technology company anywhere in the world and the largest FDI in the technology sector in India.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, took to the social-networking platform to share an update on the deal with Jio Platforms. According to him, “Facebook is teaming up with Jio Platforms — we’re making a financial investment, and more than that, we’re committing to work together on some major projects that will open up commerce opportunities for people across India.”
Asserting that India is home to the largest communities on Facebook and WhatsApp, and a lot of talented entrepreneurs, Zuckerberg added, “With communities around the world in lockdown, many of these entrepreneurs need digital tools they can rely on to find and communicate with customers and grow their businesses. This is something we can help with — and that’s why we’re partnering with Jio to help people and businesses in India create new opportunities.”
The investment of Rs 43,574 crore by Facebook values Jio Platforms amongst the top 5 listed companies in India by market capitalization, within just three and a half years of launch of commercial services, validating Reliance Industries’ capability in incubating and building disruptive next-generation businesses, while delivering market defining shareholder value.
Commenting on the partnership with Facebook, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Ltd, said, “All of us at Reliance are therefore humbled by the opportunity to welcome Facebook as our long-term partner in continuing to grow and transform the digital ecosystem of India for the benefit of all Indians… In the post-Corona era, I am confident of India’s economic recovery and resurgence in the shortest period of time. The partnership will surely make an important contribution to this transformation.”
This partnership will accelerate India’s all-round development, fulfilling the needs of Indian people and the Indian economy. Our focus will be India’s 60 million micro, small and medium businesses, 120 million farmers, 30 million small merchants and millions of small and medium enterprises in the informal sector, in addition to empowering people seeking various digital services.
In the post-COVID era, comprehensive digitalisation will be an absolute necessity for revitalisation of the Indian economy. “It is our common belief and commitment that no Indian should be deprived of the tremendous new opportunities, including opportunities for new employment and new businesses, in the process of India’s 360-degree digital transformation,” as per an official statement issued by Jio Platforms.
The transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary approvals. Morgan Stanley as financial advisor and AZB & Partners and Davis Polk & Wardwell as counsels advised on the transaction.
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