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Silver Lake to invest $747M in India’s Jio Platforms

Weeks after Facebook invested $ 5.7 billion in Jio Platforms, India’s top telecom hustler, private equity firm Silver Lake is following suit — and is willing to pay a premium for it.

Silver Lake announced on Monday it will be investing 56.56 billion Indian rupees( about $746.8 million) in Jio Platforms for about 1.15% stake in the Indian telecom network, paying it a its evaluation of $65 billion, a 12.5% premium* to the valuation implied by the Facebook investment.

The Menlo Park-headquartered PE firm, which has approximately $ 40 billion in mixed assets and dedicated fund, invests in dozens of tech conglomerates over the years including in video game engine maker Unity, audio and video communication assistance Skype, consultancy conglomerate Gartner, Alibaba’s Ant Financial, computer giant Dell, and Chinese ride-hailing monstrous Didi Chuxing.

Silver Lake has made several investments this year. Last-place month it invested in Expedia and Airbnb. In March, it invested$ 1 billion in Twitter and co-led a round in Waymo. This is the second investment Silver Lake is seeing in an Indian firm. In 2013, it invested in Bangalore-based commodity trading and management of risks application startup Eka.

Reliance Jio Platforms, which began its commercial operation in the second half of 2016, upended the neighbourhood telecom grocery by providing bulk of 4G data and enunciate calls for six months to users at no charge. A subsidiary of Reliance Manufacture( India’s most valuable firm by market value ), Jio Platforms has amassed 388 million readers since its launch to become the nation’s top telecom operator.

Jio has ” accompanied remarkable engineering capabilities to bear on bringing the strength of low-cost digital services to a mass buyer and small businesses population. The market possible they are addressing is enormous, and we are status and pleased to have been invited to partner with Mukesh Ambani and the team at Reliance and Jio to help further the Jio mission ,” said Egon Durban, co-chief executive and succeeding partner at Silver Lake, in a statement.

Jio Platforms, previously known as really Jio, too guides a suite of services that are including music streaming service JioSaavn( which has plans to become a public busines ), smartphones, broadband business, on-demand live television service JioTV, and pays service JioPay.

In a statement, Mukesh Ambani, who oversees Reliance Industries, said,” Silver Lake has only one outstanding record of being a useful spouse for producing engineering business globally. Silver Lake is one of the most respected tones in engineering and finance. We are roused to leverage penetrations from their global engineering ties-in for the Indian Digital Society’s transformation.”

In the company’s earnings call last week, Ambani said various conglomerates had expressed interest in buying bets in Jio Platforms, in which he has ran over $30 billion over the years, in aftermath of the is working with Facebook.

Facebook said that other than offering the capital to Jio Platforms for a 9.99% stake in the firm, it would work with the Indian giant on a number of areas starting with e-commerce.

Days last-minute, JioMart, an e-commerce venture run by India’s most valued firm, began testing an “ordering system” on WhatsApp, the most popular smartphone app in India with over 400 million active consumers in the world’s second largest internet market.

The deals with Facebook and Silver Lake should help Ambani further cement his last year’s commitment to investors when he said he aimed to cut Reliance’s net debt of about $21 billion to zero by early 2021. Its core business, petroleum refining and petrochemicals, has been hard hit amid the coronavirus eruption. Its net profit in the part that ceased on March 31 fell by 37%.

* It’s unclear what class of shares Jio Platforms has agreed to sell to Silver Lake; if it’s the same as what Facebook has received, the urgency of the investment at a premium indicates Jio could be headed to an IPO, or engaging in various more major investments in the coming weeks — or both.

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