By P.R. Venkat
Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd. has become a debt-free company ahead of its target, mainly supported by investments totaling more than $20 billion by large multinational companies, private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds.
Reliance, which has business interests spanning media to refining to telecommunications, has raised a total of 1.688 trillion rupees ($22.09 billion) in just 58 days, the conglomerate said Friday.
Of the amount raised, INR1.157 trillion came from global investors that agreed to take minority stakes in the company's telecommunications unit, Jio Platforms.
Investors of Jio Platforms include Facebook Inc., Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, KKR & Co., General Atlantic LLC., Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
"I have fulfilled my promise to the shareholders by making Reliance net debt-free much before our original schedule of 31st March 2021," said Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries' chairman and India's richest man.
Another INR531.24 billion was raised from a rights issue.
"Over the past few weeks, we have been overwhelmed by the phenomenal interest of the global financial investor community in partnering with Jio," Mr. Ambani said.
Reliance Industries is India's largest private sector company with consolidated turnover of $87.1 billion earning a net profit of $5.3 billion for the year ended March 31. The company's net debt during the period was INR1.610 trillion.
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