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KKR makes its biggest deal in Asia with $1.5bn investment in Reliance Industries' digital unit

Purchase by KKR of a 2.32 per cent stake for 113.67bn rupees, pegs Jio Platforms’ equity value at roughly $65bn

American global investment firm KKR & Co Inc will invest $1.5bn in Reliance Industries’ Jio Platforms, its biggest investment in Asia to date.

This brings the amount of new funds raised by the Indian digital company this month to a staggering $10bn.

Jio Platforms, which accounts for movies, music apps and telecoms venture Jio Infocomm, has now sold a combined stake of just over 17 per cent in five fundraising deals led by Facebook Inc which spent $5.7bn to acquire a 9.99 per cent stake. Other recent investors were General Atlantic, Silver Lake and Vista Equity Partners.

KKR’s purchase of a 2.32 per cent stake for 113.67bn rupees, pegs Jio Platforms’ equity value at roughly $65bn, making it India’s second-most-valuable standalone tech firm after IT services company Tata Consultancy Services.

The $10bn in new funds raised will also help Reliance meet its target of resolving its $21.4bn in net debt this year. The oil-to-telecoms giant, led by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, is also selling $7bn in new shares.

Ambani has looked to diversify his empire away from energy and petrochemicals, beginning in 2016 with the establishment of Jio Infocomm which is now India’s biggest telecom carrier with more than 376 million subscribers.

KKR has invested more than $30bn in tech companies, including China’s ByteDance and Indonesian digital payments firm GoJek.

FURTHER READING: Facebook acquires $5.7bn stake in India’s Reliance Jio

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