India’s Jio Platforms prepares for overseas IPO

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Reliance Industries
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Fresh from completing several rounds of investments from leading investments firms around the world, Indian multinational conglomerate, Reliance Industries Ltd. is engaging with banks on early preparations for an overseas listing of its digital and wireless business, Jio Platforms Ltd after the unit attracted more than $10 billion of investment in a month.

The conglomerate supported by Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, is developing Jio Platforms Ltd. for an initial public offering outside of India. The event could happen in the next 12 to 24 months and the group hasn’t settled on where the listing will happen. The final decision on the timeline and size is also under deliberation.

Jio Platforms has already sealed deals with the likes of Facebook Inc., Silver Lake Partners and General Atlantic. KKR & Co. was the latest investor joining the firm with its transaction last week. An overseas listing could possibly give the digital business a higher valuation and enable the current set of investors to exit.

Investors are gambling on Jio’s entrance to India’s huge consumer market, and its potential to shake up established industries in the country serving from retail to education and payments with its technology.

Started in 2016, Reliance Jio is now India’s largest wireless carrier. The operator rushed past rivals by establishing a nationwide 4G network, then extending free calling and data services at prices which competitors with older networks could not meet without losing money. Mr. Ambani was contemplating an IPO of Reliance Jio three years ago after a $31 billion investment spree.

Shares of Reliance Industries have dropped about 5% this year, giving the conglomerate a market value of about $120 billion.