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KKR & Co Inc will invest $1.5 billion in Reliance Industries Jio Platform

Image:-KKR to invest $1.5 billion in Reliance Industries' digital unit

KKR & Co Inc will invest $1.5 billion in Jio Platforms of Reliance Industries, its largest investment in Asia to date, bringing the amount of new funds raised by the Indian digital company to a massive $10 billion this month.

Jio Platforms, which houses Jio Infocomm 's film, music apps and telecoms venture, has now sold a combined stake of just over 17 percent in five Facebook Inc. fundraising deals spending $5.7 billion on 9.99 percent.

The deals underscore the potential of Jio Platforms to become the dominant player in India's digital economy. The telecoms unit has already decimated several rivals with cut-throat pricing, while it can count on the e-commerce expansion of Reliance's retail network. It also works on connected automobiles, safety systems and smart homes.

KKR 's purchase of a 2.32 percent stake for 113.67 billion rupees pegs the equity value of Jio Platforms at about $65 billion , making it India's second most valuable standalone tech firm after Tata Consultancy Services, an IT services company.

"We are investing behind the impressive momentum of Jio Platforms, world-class innovation and a strong leadership team," said Henry Kravis, U.S. buyout firm's co-founder and co-CEO, in a statement on Friday.

The $10 billion raised in new funds will also help Reliance meet its goal of eliminating $21.4 billion in this year's net debt. Controlled by Asia's richest man Mukesh Ambani, the oil-to-telecoms giant is also selling $7 billion in new shares.

Ambani sought to diversify his empire away from energy and petrochemicals, often saying "data is the new oil," starting in 2016 with the establishment of Jio Infocomm, now India's largest telecommunications carrier with over 376 million subscribers.

Other recent investors were General Atlantic, Vista Equity Partners and Silver Lake.

KKR has invested over $30 billion in tech companies, including ByteDance from China and GoJek, an Indonesian digital payment firm.

Article Edited by | John Heine |

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