Reliance Industries Ltd is working with banks on early preparations for an overseas listing of its digital and wireless activities business after the unit attracted more than $ 10 billion of investments in one month.
The people said the conglomerate, backed by Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man, is preparing Jio Platforms Ltd. for an initial public offering outside India. The offering might happen within the next 12 to 24 months, and the company has not decided on a listing venue. There is also no final decision on the schedule and size, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.
KKR & Co. last week became the latest investor joins Jio Platforms after Ambani entered into deals with Facebook Inc. Silver Lake Partners, and General Atlantic recently. People said that overseas listing could give the digital business a higher valuation and allow existing investors to exit.
A representative of Reliance Industries declined to comment.
Jio platforms combine Reliance digital assets and wireless carrier, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., into a holding company aimed at becoming one of the leading e-commerce and payment operators in India's massive consumer market.
Investors are betting that Jio will reach India's huge consumer market and its potential to rock the country's traditional industries, from retail to education and payments, with its technology. India is the only major open internet marketplace in which foreign tech giants like Amazon.com Inc., Walmart Inc., and Google’s parent Alphabet Inc. can compete for market share.
Reliance Jio started in 2016 and is now in India's largest wireless carrier. The operator stormed past rivals by building a nationwide 4G network, then offering free calling and data services at prices that demonstrated that competitors with older networks could not match without losing money. Bloomberg News reported in 2017 that Ambani weighing an IPO of Reliance Jio three years ago after a $31 billion investment spree.
Source: Economic Times
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