Reliance Industries (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani on Wednesday announced that the oil-to-telecom behemoth became the first Indian company to achieve the market capitalisation (m-cap) of $150 billion following the stake sale in its Jio Platforms and the company’s rights issue.
Ambani said that his company has fulfilled the promise of being net debt-free ahead of schedule and also announced that search engine giant Google as a strategic investor in Jio Platforms. He said that Google will invest Rs 33,737 crore for 7.7 per cent stake in Jio Platforms.
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This takes the cumulative fundraising by RIL to Rs 2,12,809 crore in less than three months, Ambani said. This includes investments by Facebook-led investors in Jio Platforms, a Rs 53,124 crore rights issue and an investment by BP Plc in fuel retailing venture. BP has picked a 49 per cent stake in the JV for Rs 7,629 crore.
He said that the company’s consumer business continues to deliver EBITDA growth of 49 per cent this year. The consumer business contributed 35 per cent of EBIDTA. The consumer and technology businesses have rapidly achieved scale by their exponential growth.
Ambani also announced that Jio would be developing a homegrown 5G telecom solution. “Jio has designed and developed a complete 5G solution from scratch. It will be ready for trials as soon as 5G spectrum is available and can be ready for field deployment next year,” he said.
Separately, Esha Ambani and Akash Ambani elaborated on the technological achievements of Jio and a flurry of new announcements on the Jio Platforms.
Speaking about the retail business, Mukesh Ambani said Reliance Retail is the country’s largest and most profitable retail business. He added that more than two-thirds of their nearly 12,000 stores are operated in tier 2, 3 and 4 towns.
He said that his company has a deep-rooted bond with tens of thousands of Indian farmers which have been helpful for Reliance Retail to source over 80 per cent of its fresh fruits and vegetable directly from farmers. “We sell more fruits and vegetables than any other organised retailer in the country,” the CMD said.
Ambani also said Reliance continues to provide employment and development opportunities to lakhs of people across India. He also mentioned that the retail arm’s growth model is based on partnership with small merchants and shopkeepers.
The RIL chairman said that the company has received interest from strategic and financial investors to invest in Reliance Retail and he would induct global and strategic partners into the business in the next few quarters.
Speaking about the oil and chemicals business, Mukesh Ambani said that all their manufacturing facilities continue to operate at 90 per cent capacity despite the challenges from the coronavirus lockdown.
Ambani said that due to the unforeseen circumstances and COVID-19, the Saudi Aramco deal did not progress as per the earlier announced timeline. However, he said that “we are committed to a long-term partnership with Saudi Aramco.”
He also said that RIL is targeting to become net carbon-neutral by 2035. He said that the world needs access to clean and affordable energy and that the energy industry should adopt the planet-friendly model.
Ambani said that his company will approach the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) with a proposal to spin-off the oil-to-chemicals business into a separate subsidiary. “We expect to complete this process by early 2021,” he said.
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