KKR & Co. said it negotiated its biggest Asian transaction, a $ 1.5 billion deal to buy a stake in Mukesh Ambani’s India-based digital platform business, within 10 days.
New York-based private equity firm announced on Friday that it is buying a 2.3% stake in Jio Platforms Ltd. the telecom and digital services holding company controlled by Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. Sanjay Nayar, chief executive officer of KKR’s India unit said the deal was done over Zoom calls.
KKR said Ambani's goals to become one of the leading e-commerce and payment operators in India, the world's second most populated nation, helped KKR accelerate the decision. Private equity firms often take months to perform due diligence and negotiate investment terms.
"We invested in Mukesh Ambani's vision of entrepreneurship backed by world-class management," Nayar said in an interview. "The business model is expandable to meet the demand of ambitious Indians who will unleash the demand."
KKR's investment follows Ambani's stake in Jio Platforms to Facebook Inc. Silver Lake and General Atlantic. Ambani, Asia’s richest man, has lured $ 10 billion in investments since April.
"We support a winning story and we have a long way to go," Nayar said. "We have not invested in a greenfield business."
KKR, which has also invested in technology-driven companies such as enterprise solutions provider BMC Software Inc., ByteDance Ltd., Owner of TikTok social video platform and food delivery giant GoJek, said Jio was its biggest investment in the region.