After the Government of India (GoI) revised the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy, the social media giant, Facebook invested Rs. 43.574 crores ($5.7 billion) in Reliance Jio.
On the 22nd of April, Facebook officially announced they bought 9.9 % stake in the telecom unit of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL.)
Facebook said, “This investment underscores our commitment to India, and our excitement for the dramatic transformation that Jio has spurred in the country. In less than four years, Jio has brought more than 388 million people online, fueling the creation of innovative new enterprises and connecting people in new ways. We are committed to connecting more people in India together with Jio.”
This investment under the FDI policy would be the biggest investment of Facebook in minority shareholding ever.
Reliance Jio which started 3 years back and has more than 340 millions customers said, with this investment, “Our goal is to enable new opportunities for businesses of all sizes, but especially for small businesses across India and create new and exciting digital ecosystems that will empower, enrich and uplift the lives of all 1.3 billion Indians.”
Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman of Reliance Jio launched Jio in 2016 with an investment of $40 billions and in a span of 3 years made it the largest Telecom company in India. Reliance Industry said, “The partnership between Facebook and Jio is unprecedented in many ways. This is the largest investment for a minority stake by a technology company anywhere in the world and the largest FDI in the technology sector in India.”
Mukesh Ambani said, “All of us at Reliance are humbled by the opportunity to welcome Facebook as our long term partner in continuing to grow and transform the digital ecosystem of India for the benefit of all Indians.”
In the past months, the company has been trying to reduce its debt by attempting to sell stakes worth billions of dollars in some of its businesses. With this partnership, RIL would be able to cut its debt to zero by March 2021.