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Thu 4 Jun 2020 11:28 AM

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Reliance concludes $7bn rights offer as Jio spurs frenzy

Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment is nearing a deal to invest about $1 billion into Jio Platforms

Reliance concludes $7bn rights offer as Jio spurs frenzy

Jio Platforms is the holding company for its wireless carrier Reliance Jio Infocomm.

Reliance Industries Ltd. concluded its $7 billion share sale as part of a fund-raising drive aimed at paying net debt down to zero and backing the oil-to-telecommunications group’s shift toward e-commerce.

The world’s biggest rights offering by a non-financial company in at least a decade was subscribed about 1.59 times. The company, India’s largest, received commitments of over 840 billion rupees ($11.1 billion) against the 422.62 million shares on offer. The shares are expected to be listed on exchanges on or around June 12, according to a stock exchange filing.

Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man, has been ploughing more of his own fortune into the company while bringing in new backers from Facebook Inc. to U.S.-based private equity investors including Silver Lake Partners for Jio Platforms, the holding company for its wireless carrier Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. More deals are on the way, people familiar with the matter said.

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment is nearing a deal to invest about $1 billion into Jio Platforms and an announcement could come as soon as this week, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. Reliance is also in discussions with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Saudi Arabia’s The Public Investment Fund, the people said.

Shareholders received one rights share for every 15 held, at 1,257 rupees each, lower than the closing price of 1,541.7 rupees on Wednesday. Company founders agreed to buy their full allotment, plus any leftover shares.

Investors who bought into the 531.2 billion-rupee rights offer can pay in instalments. A 314.25 rupees per share amount was due May 17, with a further 314.25 rupees apiece to be paid by May next year, and the remainder by November 2021.

A key piece of Ambani’s debt-reduction plan that’s yet to come together after a crash in crude oil prices is an estimated $15 billion stake sale in Reliance Industries’ refining and chemicals unit to Saudi Arabian Oil Co. Reliance has said due diligence was underway and Aramco was committed on its planned investment.

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