Billionaire Mukesh Ambani is a man on a mission: to dominate India’s consumer Internet market — from online retail to digital payments.
He just sealed three deals in as many weeks to raise a combined $8 billion, including from Facebook Inc. Asia’s richest man isn’t done yet, as he races to transform the legacy oil-and-petrochemicals empire his late father built into a technology-driven, e-commerce force.
In the latest announcement Friday from his RelianceNSE 1.63 % Industries Ltd., Vista Equity Partners agreed to pay $1.5 billion for a 2.3% stake in Jio Platforms, the conglomerate’s digital unit. Earlier this week, Menlo Park, California-based Silver Lake Partners said it would invest $753 million in the business, hot on the heels of Facebook’s decision in April to plow $5.7 billion for a 10% stake in Jio.
The flurry of transactions show the tycoon’s ambitions to pivot Reliance Industries into an Indian technology titan are going into hyperdrive. With investments from the likes of the social-networking giant and the two private-equity firms, Ambani, 63, is not only getting Silicon Valley’s backing for his plans, but is also raising funds to honor a pledge he made to investors in August — to wipe out net debt at his group.