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US Equity Giant KKR To Invest Rs 11,367 Crore In Jio Platforms

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New Delhi:

Reliance Industries on Friday announced the sale of a 2.32 per cent stake in its digital unit to US private equity giant KKR for Rs 11,367 crore, the fifth deal in four weeks that will inject a combined Rs 78,562 crore in the oil-to-telecom conglomerate to help it pare debt.

This is KKR’s largest investment in Asia.

“This transaction values Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 4.91 lakh crore and an enterprise value of Rs 5.16 lakh crore. This is KKR’s largest investment in Asia and will translate into a 2.32 per cent equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis,” the company said in a statement.

The deal follows Facebook picking up a 9.99 per cent stake in the firm, housing India’s youngest but largest telecom company, on April 22 for Rs 43,574 crore.

Within days of that deal, Silver Lake – the world’s largest tech investor – bought a 1.15 per cent stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 5,665.75 crore.

On May 8, US-based Vista Equity Partners bought 2.32 per cent stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 11,367 crore. On May 17 global equity firm General Atlantic picked up 1.34 per cent stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 6,598.38 crore.

“Over the last month, leading technology investors, such as, Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista, General Atlantic and KKR have announced aggregate investments of Rs 78,562 crore into Jio Platforms,” it said.

Diverse marquee investors are becoming long-term shareholders of Jio Platforms Ltd (JPL) because of a unique set of technologies and platforms under one entity. There are no similar opportunities available anywhere else globally. And an endorsement of the quality of the management.

Investments by leading global growth investors will enable Jio to scale its ecosystem and reaffirm the firm as a next generation software product and platform company.

“Jio Platforms, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries, is a next-generation technology platform focused on providing high-quality and affordable digital services across India, with more than 388 million subscribers,” the statement said.

Founded in 1976, KKR has a long history of building leading global enterprises and successfully investing in businesses in the technology sector, including BMC Software, ByteDance and GoJek, through its private equity and technology growth funds.

Since inception, the firm has invested over USD 30 billion (total enterprise value) in tech companies, and its technology portfolio currently has more than 20 companies across the technology, media and telecom sectors.

 

In addition, India has been a key strategic market for KKR with a history of investing in the country since 2006.

Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, said, “I am delighted to welcome KKR, one of the world’s most respected financial investors, as a valued partner in our onward march to growing and transforming the Indian digital ecosystem for the benefit of all Indians.”

KKR, he said, has a proven track record of being a valuable partner to industry-leading franchises and has been committed to India for many years.

“We are looking forward to leveraging KKR’s global platform, industry knowledge and operational expertise to further grow Jio.”

Henry Kravis, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of KKR, said, “Few companies have the potential to transform a country’s digital ecosystem in the way that Jio Platforms is doing in India, and potentially worldwide. Jio Platforms is a true homegrown next generation technology leader in India that is unmatched in its ability to deliver technology solutions and services to a country that is experiencing a digital revolution.”

“We are investing behind Jio Platforms” impressive momentum, world-class innovation and strong leadership team, and we view this landmark investment as a strong indicator of KKR’s commitment to supporting leading technology companies in India and Asia Pacific,” he said.

KKR is making the investment from its Asia private equity and growth technology funds.

The transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary approvals.

Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisor to Reliance Industries, and AZB & Partners and Davis Polk & Wardwell acted as legal counsel. 

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP acted as financial advisor to KKR. Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as legal counsel to KKR.

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Jio-Facebook Deal: Facebook to Buy 9.99 Percent Stake in Reliance Jio

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Facebook will buy a 10 percent stake in the digital business of India’s Reliance Industries for Rs. 43,574 crores, as the social media firm looks to leverage its highly popular WhatsApp chat service to offer digital payment services. The deal will help the Indian conglomerate cut debt that has piled up in its expensive push to secure top spot for its Jio Infocomm telecom business. Facebook’s investment will make it the largest minority shareholder in Jio Platforms Ltd, Jio said in a statement on Wednesday, putting the enterprise value of the business at around $66 billion (roughly Rs. 5 lakh crores). Jio Platforms holds a host of Reliance’s digital assets including Jio Infocomm.

WhatsApp is trying to secure approval to roll out its digital payment service in India, which will see it compete in a crowded market with the likes of Google Pay and Paytm. The approval to expand beyond the beta launch hasn’t come through yet, a Facebook spokesman said.

The messaging service has 40 crore users in India, its biggest market, reaching nearly 80 percent of smartphone users in the country. The deal will also help the social media giant leverage WhatsApp to partner with Reliance’s e-commerce marketplace JioMart, that connects small businesses to customers.

“(India) is in the middle of a major digital transformation and organizations like Jio have played a big part in getting hundreds of millions of Indian people and small businesses online,” Facebook founder CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post.

For Reliance, whose debt pile swelled to more than $40 billion (roughly Rs. 3 lakh crores) as of September, the partnership will bring in much needed funds to make good on its promise to cut net debt to zero by March 2021.

Reliance Industries, controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, is also set to sell a fifth of its oil and chemical refining business to Saudi Aramco for roughly $15 billion (roughly Rs. 1.15 lakh crores), and a stake in its telecom tower assets to Canadian private equity firm Brookfield Asset Management for over $3 billon (roughly Rs. 23,000 crores).

While Jio has become the country’s largest wireless operator within about three years of its launch, Mumbai-headquartered Reliance has also rapidly expanded its retail business, which now has over 10,000 stores selling groceries, consumer electronics and apparel.

Revenue at these two businesses together jumped more than 25 percent in the December quarter.

Last month, Financial Times reported that Facebook was in talks for a 10 percent stake in Jio but the talks were halted due to global travel bans amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Jio said Morgan Stanley was the financial adviser on the deal. AZB & Partners, and Davis Polk & Wardwell were counsels.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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The BSNL Work@Home plan offers a user 5GB daily data at 10 Mbps speeds and unlimited data at 1 Mbps speeds

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State-run BSNL always stays ahead of other operators in the broadband segment. In its view to contain the spread of Coronavirus and to encourage more users to opt for ‘Work from Home,’ the ISP has introduced a new ‘Work@Home’ broadband plan at free of cost. Yes, you heard it right. BSNL’s Work@Home is being offered to all the users for free across all the circles, including Andaman & Nicobar circle. However, there’s one catch with this new offering from BSNL. Only the existing BSNL users with a landline connection can avail this plan at free of cost. Benefits of the plan include 5GB daily data at 10 Mbps speeds and up to 1 Mbps speeds after that. Thankfully, there’s no FUP limit on the plan after the 5GB daily limit. Read onto know more about BSNL Work@Home broadband plan benefits and validity.

BSNL Work@Home Free Broadband Plan Launched: Check Benefits

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is the wired broadband leader in the Indian market right now. BSNL has come up with a new ‘Work@Home’ broadband plan to prevent the spreading of Coronavirus in India. Since the majority of the corporate employees are working from home itself, BSNL wants them to choose its new offering, which comes at zero cost.

The BSNL Work@Home plan offers a user 5GB daily data at 10 Mbps speeds and unlimited data at 1 Mbps speeds. The FUP limit is on the lower side and the speeds offered by the company aren’t impressive too. Nevertheless, the company is providing the plan for free and there are no installation or monthly or security deposit involved whatsoever.

However, it is worth noting that the Work@Home plan will be available only to the BSNL landline customers. So basically BSNL wants the existing landline users to convert to broadband subscribers and avail the benefits for free. As for the voice calling, BSNL says that users can still avail the free calling benefit as per their landline plan. This could mean that subscribers will still have to pay for their landline plan every month, but the broadband benefits will be offered for free.

Other ISPs Also Encourage Work from Home

Right now, the only way to prevent Coronavirus from spreading is to stay at home. Internet Service Providers such as ACT Fibernet and Airtel Xstream Fibre already introduced some new changes to lure the subscribers to opt them. Airtel Xstream Fibre is waiving off the installation and security deposit for new subscribers, whereas ACT Fibernet has bumped the internet speeds to 300 Mbps and even offering unlimited data till March 31, 2020. If the outbreak continues, we might see more offers from the ISPs to cash on the situation.

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Reliance Jio, Airtel, BSNL Replace Default Caller Tune with Coronavirus Awareness

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The total number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus have crossed the 1,00,000 mark and over 300 people have died across the world. The number of confirmed cases in India to have been increasing steadily. With five more confirmed cases in Kerala, the total number of cases detected in India stands at 34.

Amid the ongoing crisis, the Indian government has taken several measures, including setting up a 24×7 helpline number, to roll out authentic information about the virus outbreak. Now, the government is asking telecom companies to make their users aware of the preventive measures about the virus outbreak.

Startled by hearing an abrupt coughing sound while calling among your near or darlings? It’s just a pre-call awareness project operate on Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) as well as Reliance Jio links to inform individuals about the Novel Coronavirus (2019- nCov) that creates an illness called COVID-19 as well as is influencing lots of lives around the world. The awareness project has been performed by the Ministry of Health as well as FamilyWelfare The coronavirus episode that began in China’s Wuhan late in 2015 has spread worldwide, with a minimum of 33 instances arise from India.

“To educate people on the preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19, the Central government has put pre-call awareness messages on BSNL and Jio phone connections,” news agency ANI tweeted, citing an anonymous health official.

The message starts with a coughing sound as well as highlights exactly how you can quit“novel coronavirus from spreading” It states, “Always protect your face with a handkerchief or tissue while coughing or sneezing. Regularly clean hands with soap.” The message is played out in Hindi to give awareness to the masses in the nation.

“Avoid touching your face, eyes, or nose. If someone has cough, fever, or breathlessness maintain one metre distance. If needed, visit your nearest health centre immediately,” the message further says — alongside providing the helpline number +91-11-23797-8046.

It is unclear whether the awareness message will be limited to BSNL and Jio or would also be available on Airtel and Vodafone Idea connections in the coming days. Gadgets 360 has reached out to both the telcos to get their clarity and will update this space whenever they respond.

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