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KKR To Invest $1.5B In India's Jio Platforms, Joins Facebook, Three Other US Firms As Stakeholders

New York-based KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR) is investing $1.5 billion in Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd.'s digital arm Jio Platforms, the latter announced Thursday.

Benzinga · 05/22/2020 05:10

New York-based KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR) is investing $1.5 billion in Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd.'s digital arm Jio Platforms, the latter announced Thursday.

What Happened

KKR's investment will translate into a 2.3% stake in Jio, which was launched as a mobile network operator in 2016, and has since come to dominate the market in India. The funding puts an enterprise value of $68.3 billion at the Mumbai-based company.

"Few companies have the potential to transform a country's digital ecosystem in the way that Jio Platforms is doing in India, and potentially worldwide," the investment firm's Co-Founder and Co-CEO Henry Kravis said in a statement.

Why It Matters

This is a fifth major investment by a United States-based company in Jio in a month.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) was the first to announce an investment of $5.7 billion in the company in late April in exchange for a nearly 10% stake.

The social media giant's investment was followed by a $748 million funding from Silver Lake, $1.5 billion from Vista Equity Partners, and $871 million from General Atlantic.

Jio has been rapidly expanding into other digital sectors beyond telecom and internet service, including in the online news segment, and music and video on-demand streaming.

The company has partnered with Facebook subsidiary Whatsapp for its latest venture in e-commerce, as it looks to ruffle some feathers in a market dominated by Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Walmart Inc. subsidiary Flipkart in the country.

Price Action

KKR shares closed 0.5% lower at $26.55 on Thursday.