Now he has attracted a powerful new investor with deep pockets: Saudi Arabia.
The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), will pay $1.5 billion for a 2.3% stake in Jio Platforms, the digital technology arm of Ambani’s sprawling conglomerate Reliance Industries. The deal, announced on Thursday, values Jio Platforms at close to $68 billion.
Thanks to the fundraising blitz and a recent $7 billion share sale, Reliance Industries said on Friday that it is now debt free. The company said its net debt at the end of March was 1.61 trillion rupees ($21 billion).
Ambani, Asia’s wealthiest man, launched Jio as a telecom network in late 2016 and has since signed up 388 million subscribers. Jio also has an ecosystem of apps, offering those millions of mobile users everything from online grocery shopping and digital payments to video streaming.
“I welcome PIF as a valued partner in Jio Platforms and look forward to their sustained support and guidance as we take ambitious steps to accelerate India’s digital transformation,” Ambani said in a statement.
“We believe that the potential of the Indian digital economy is very exciting and that Jio Platforms provides us with an excellent opportunity to gain access to that growth,” PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan said in a statement.