Saudi PIF eyeing a minority stake in Reliance’s Jio

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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One of the largest sovereign wealth funds around the world, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which manages over $320 billion in assets is reportedly interested in purchasing a minority stake in Indian Telecom Newbie Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RIL) digital unit Jio Platforms.

This transaction would make Saudi PIL the fourth three marquee investor in Jio after Facebook, Silver Lake and Vista who have invested considerably in the last few months. Jio platforms have raised a staggering $8 billion at a time when the world is in tumult because of the coronavirus pandemic.

After the Facebook (FB) and Silver Lake stake deal in Jio Platforms (JPL), RIL announced a deal to sell a 2.23 percent stake in Jio Platforms (JPL) to Vista Partners for $1.5 billion. This takes the total equity flow into JPL to $7.95 billion for a total equity sale of 13.45 percent.

Recently Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) had highlighted in its analyst call, that due diligence is ongoing regarding Aramco’s proposed 20 percent stake purchase in RIL’s petroleum and petrochemical business. While three investors have come in there are expectations of “similar-sized deals” in Jio.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), on its website, said it wants to become the world’s largest sovereign fund by a mix of domestic and international investments. In 2015, the mandate of the PIF was overhauled with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as the Chairman and the PIF to report to the Council of Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA).


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