Silver Lake, a California-based Private Equity (PE) firm that makes PE investments in large cap technology companies, has bought just over 1% in Jio Platforms, the telecom and digital arm of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, for (Rs 5,655.75 crore) $748 million. This deal will take Jio’s enterprise value to Rs 5.15 lakh crore or US$ 65 billion, which is more than Facebook deal worth $5.7 billion that took in last month.
Founded in 1999, Silver Lake is known for being the largest technology investors in the world including Alibaba, Godaddy, Dell Technologies, Avaya, Sabre Holdings and Skype among others.
In a statement to The Forbes, Egon Durban, a founding principal and co-CEO of Silver Lake, who is a billionaire himself with a net worth of $1.2 billion, explained the rationale behind the investment: “They have brought extraordinary engineering capabilities to bear on bringing the power of low-cost digital services to a mass consumer and small businesses population. The market potential they are addressing is enormous.”
As a PE firm Silver Lake is notable for participating in club deals, that is a borrowed buyout or other private equity investment that involves two or more private equity firms. Club Deal is also referred to a consortium or syndicated investment.
Last year in August, Reliance had announced a proposed $15 billion investment by Saudi Aramco in its oil and petrochemicals business, a transaction that seems doubtful in the current scenario, and amid COVID-19 pandemic situation and its aftermaths.
In the fiscal year ended March 2020., Reliance Jio’s overall annual revenue increased by 5% to $87.4 billion and it reported a net profit of $5.3 billion.