Facebook-Reliance Jio USD 5.7 billion (Rs 43,574 crore) deal: In the first mega cross-border deal of the year, Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook has agreed to buy a 9.99% equity stake in Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio for Rs 43,574 crore, with an eye on the country’s 6 crore small businesses and a huge digital customer base of 1.3 billion users. The deal values the less than four-year old Reliance Jio at Rs 4.62 lakh crore, the company said in a statement. With the deal, Facebook hopes to get a foothold in the potential market of India’s countless small and medium businesses, 12 crore farmers, and 3 crore small merchants, for its social media apps Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, the statement said.
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, the statement said. Further, the deal values Reliance Jio as one of the five largest companies in India by market capitalisation. “Our goal with this investment 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,” Reliance Jio said.