Facebook is in talks to acquire a 10 percent stake in India’s telecom giant Reliance Jio, according to media reports.
However, talks between the two parties have stalled due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Reliance Jio, which is valued at $60 billion, is also reportedly in talks with technology giants such as Google.
With regard to Facebook’s interest in Reliance Jio, Kotak Institutional Securities told the media, “RIL has been seeking strategic partnerships across its businesses while targeting to deleverage its balance sheet; a concrete progress on potential inorganic transactions is required to allay investor concerns.”
“Unauthenticated media articles indicate that Facebook was in discussions with RIL to take a minority 10 percent stake in the latter’s digital business under Jio; however, the talks have been stalled for now amid travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 outbreak.” “
Launched in 2016, Reliance Jio has established itself a telecom giant in India in a short spell due to its competitive pricing strategy. Backed by multibillionaire Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Jio disrupted the Indian telecom sector which led to many telcos exiting the market with Vodafone on the brink of shutting down its business in India.
Facebook also sees India as an important market with millions using Facebook’s social media platforms such as Messenger and WhatsApp.
Since the news of Facebook’s interest in Reliance Jio broke out, shares of the telco have soared significantly on the stock market.
Last year, Reliance Jio entered into a long-term alliance with Microsoft to accelerate digital transformation with the launch of new cloud data centres in India.
Reliance Industries Limited chief Mukesh Ambani has stressed on the importance of the partnerships and their significance.