Microsoft is mulling making an investment of around $2 billion in India’s Mukesh Ambani-led telecom company Reliance Jio, according to reports in the media.
According to a Mint report, which cited sources, Microsoft is planning to acquire more than 2.5 percent stake in Jio Platforms for $2 billion. However, the deal is said to be in the early stages and many details are yet to be finalised.
So far, Reliance Jio has raised around $10 billion from investors such as Facebook, Silver Lake, KKR and Vista Equity Partners.
If the deal is successful, Microsoft will become the biggest investor in Reliance Jio overtaking Facebook, that acquired a 9.99 percent stake in the company for $5.7 billion in April.
Jio Platforms, which is a subsidiary of Reliance Industry Limited, has established itself as a major telecom player in India’s telecom sector in a short period of time. 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.
Earlier this month, US-based private equity firm General Atlantic invested $873 million Reliance Jio. The deal saw General Atlantic acquire a 1.3 percent stake in Reliance’s telecom unit Jio.
The deal makes Vista Equity Partners the largest shareholder in Reliance Jio after Reliance Industry Limited that owns 86.54 percent share in Jio, and Facebook which owns a 9.99 percent stake.
With regard to the funding in Jio, founder of Facebook and chief executive Mark Zuckerburg said in a statement, “India has more than 60 million small businesses and millions of people rely on them for jobs. With communities around the world in lockdown, many of these entrepreneurs need digital tools they can rely on to find and communicate with customers and grow their businesses.”