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General Atlantic to invest $873 mn in India’s Reliance Jio

Jio General Atlantic
General Atlantic will acquire a 1.3% stake in Jio

US-based private equity firm General Atlantic is set to invest $873 million in India’s telecommunication giant Reliance Jio, the media reported.

The deal will see General Atlantic acquire a 1.3 percent stake in Reliance’s telecom unit Jio.

So far, Reliance Jio has amassed investments of around $9 billion, including stakes sold to Facebook, Silver Lake and Vista Equity Partners.

The funds will also support chairman Mukesh Ambani’s vow to pay down more than $20 billion of net debt at Reliance earlier than an initial March 2021 deadline.

Earlier this month, another private equity firm Vista Equity Partners acquired a 2.3 percent stake in Jio in a deal worth $1.5 billion.

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.

Facebook acquired its stake in Reliance Jio for about $5.7 billion last month.

According to Facebook, it will work closely with the Jio brand and provide innovative ways for businesses in India to help boost its digital economy.

The deal between Facebook and Jio will most likely see JioMart, Jio’s small business initiative, and WhatsApp coming together, to connect small and medium-sized enterprises(SMEs) in India.

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.”

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