Mukesh Ambani is gearing up to introduce an new Indian e-Comerce giant into the market, with his latest move of setting up a $24 billion digital-services holding company, which would pave his way towards dominating the internet marketing domain in India.
Reliance Industries Ltd. has now approved to allocate 1.08 trillion rupees (15 billion dollars) to a new fully owned subsidiary, which will in return will invest that amount in in Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., the highly successful telecom venture of the company. This move from Reliance will make Reliance Jio debt free by March 2020.
Reliance Jio already holds capital of Rs. 65,000 crore, and with the announcement made on October 25th, the company will go completely debt free.
This turn towards the eCommerce platform is Reliance’s latest endeavor to shift its focus from its conventional forte, the petrochemical industry, bringing it head to head with already established behemoths like Amazon and Flipkart. Ambani also disclosed that that the earning from this new business, along with retail is likely contribute to 50% percent of the company’s earning in the next few years, against the current 32%.
With this new enterprise, Reliance is also planning for an IPO within the coming five years. Since the advent of Jio into the market, it has vaulted to be country’s largest telecom caterer with over 350 million users.
Ambani is also working closely with various partners through acquisitions and stake purchases to materialize his e-Comerce dream. He said;
Given the reach and scale of our digital ecosystem, we have received strong interest from potential strategic partners. We will induct the right partners in our platform company, creating and unlocking meaningful value for RIL shareholders.
Just like Alibaba and Alphbet, Reliance will also invest in its subsidiary through convertible shares. This will then take over the 650 billion rupees of equity investment of Reliance in Jio. With the equity infusion, Reliance Jio will transfer liabilities worth 1.08 trillion rupees to a subsidiary of the parent, making Jio debt free.
Citigroup said in a research report;
The reorganization of Jio’s capital structure is intended at consolidating all digital assets under one entity, reducing debt at this entity and streamlining the structure to make it attractive for eventual monetization.
Ambani earlier revealed this August that they had spent $50 billion on Jio, whose sole entry into the telecom market made most of the rivals perish or merge to stay in competition. As per Chief Financial Officer V. Srikanth, Jio’s net debt stood at 840 billion rupees as on Sept. 30. Of 123.54 billion rupee total revenue of the company, Jio salone contributed 9.9 billion profits.
Ambani, who currently boasts the stature of richest man in Asia, has also announced the sale of 20% of his oil and petrochemical business to Saudi Arabian Oil Co. at a price of $75 billion. It could be safe to assume that some of the gains from here would fuel Ambani’s ambitious pivot onto internet based businesses.