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Reliance says Silver Lake, co-investors to invest extra $601 million in digital unit

FILE PHOTO: Commuters use their mobile phones as they wait at a bus stop with an advertisement of Reliance Industries’ Jio telecoms unit, in Mumbai, India July 10, 2017. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/File Photo

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s Reliance Industries (RELI.NS) late on Friday said U.S. private equity fund Silver Lake and its co-investors will invest an additional 45.46 billion rupees ($601.40 million) in the company’s digital unit Jio Platforms.

The investment comes on top of the 56.56 billion rupees Silver Lake committed to Jio Platforms earlier this month.

Silver Lake’s new investment gives Jio Platforms — which houses Reliance’s telecoms arm Jio Infocomm and its music and video streaming apps — an enterprise value of 5.16 trillion rupees, Reliance said in a regulatory filing, and takes Silver Lake’s stake to 2.08% from just over 1%.

Reliance has now sold nearly 20% of Jio Platforms to investors, including Facebook Inc (FB.O), securing around $12 billion in less than six weeks.

The deal adds to a recent flurry of fund-raising activity by the oil-to-telecoms giant, controlled by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, including a $7 billion share sale, with plans to eliminate $21.4 billion of net debt by the end of the year.

“The investment momentum behind Jio validates a compelling business model and underscores our admiration for Mukesh Ambani…,” Egon Durban, Silver Lake’s Co-CEO said in the statement.

Silver Lake has about $40 billion in assets under management, including investments in Twitter Inc (TWTR.N), Dell Technologies Inc (DELL.N) and movie theatre chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (AMC.N).

Reliance plans to wrap up the bulk of its private fundraising by the third quarter before exploring a 2021 public listing in the United States, where it is eyeing a valuation of $90 billion to $95 billion for Jio Platforms, Reuters reported previously.

Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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