Reliance Industries mulls overseas IPO for Jio Platforms

Mukesh Ambani’s plan for an overseas listing for Jio Platforms comes soon after the Centre announced it will allow Indian companies to directly list on stock exchanges abroad.
Mukesh Ambani
Mukesh Ambani
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After Jio Platforms raised over Rs 78,000 crore from five different global investors including Facebook, Mukesh Ambani-backed Reliance Industries is reportedly now looking to list Jio Platforms outside India.

According to a Bloomberg report, Reliance is working with banks to prepare Jio Platforms for an initial public offering (IPO), which could happen in the next 12-24 months, though there is no information on where it plans to list, or what the issue size would be.

According to a Business Standard report, Reliance may consider listing Jio Platforms on Nasdaq in the US, which is a sought-after stock exchange for technology companies. The report also states that the work on an overseas IPO is likely to start after Reliance sells around 25% stake in Jio Platforms.

Jio Platforms is Reliance’s digital, wireless and broadband business, which also includes the whole host of Jio apps.

A banker told Livemint that Reliance may consider simultaneous listing of Jio Platforms, but that it is likely to happen only after domestic and global market sentiments improve.

Ambani’s plan for an overseas listing of Jio comes fresh on the heels of the Finance Minister announcing earlier in May that it will bring in changes to allow Indian companies to directly list on stock exchanges overseas.

“Necessary regulations allowing direct overseas listing by the Indian entity is expected soon after amendments to the Company Act and Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) regulations are passed,” FM Nirmala Sitharaman said, during the announcement of the fifth tranche of the stimulus package. This move was aimed at allowing Indian companies to raise foreign capital.

However, detailed guidelines on the same are yet to be notified, something Reliance too, is reportedly awaiting.

Ambani too, has indicated at Reliance Industries AGM last year that he wanted to list Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail in the next five years. He said at the time that they have been receiving strong interest from investors for its consumer business.

Since April 22, when Facebook invested Rs 43,574 crore for a 9.99% stake, Jio Plaftorms has so far raised Rs 78,562 crore from Silverlake (Rs 5,655,75 crore for 1.15% stake), Vista Equity Partners (Rs 11,367 crore for 2.32%), General Atlantic (Rs 6,598.38 crore for 1.34%) and most recently KKR (Rs 11,367 crore for 2.32%).

The stake sale in Jio, along with Reliance Industries major fundraising exercise through a Rights Issue is part of the group company’s plan to become a zero net debt company by the end of March 2021. Outstanding debt of RIL as on March 31, 2020 was Rs 336,294 crore ($44.4 billion).

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