Global investors in talks with Mukesh Ambani’s RIL to invest in Jio’s towers, fibre

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Bengaluru | Updated: April 30, 2019 11:22:26 AM

Reliance, once dependent on its industrial businesses, reshaped the Indian telecoms industry when it launched its Jio telecoms unit in 2016, taking on rivals such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea with its cut-throat pricing.

Earlier this month, Reliance transferred its fibre and tower undertakings to separate companies to move liabilities worth 1.07 trillion rupees ($ 15.33 billion) out of Jio’s balance sheet.

Global investors are in talks with Reliance Industries Ltd to invest in two infrastructure investment trusts set up to own Reliance Jio’s tower and fibre assets, a business daily reported on Tuesday, citing people aware of the matter. Reliance, once dependent on its industrial businesses, reshaped the Indian telecoms industry when it launched its Jio telecoms unit in 2016, taking on rivals such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea with its cut-throat pricing.

Canadian pension funds CPPIB, Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (OMERS), British Columbia Pension Corporation (BCPC), sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), investment firms Mubadala and Singapore’s GIC, and Germany’s Allianz SE are among the potential investors, the newspaper reported.

Earlier this month, Reliance transferred its fibre and tower undertakings to separate companies to move liabilities worth 1.07 trillion rupees ($15.33 billion) out of Jio’s balance sheet. Reliance aims to get at least five investors on board, with some joining the conglomerate’s board as co-sponsors, the report added.

Reliance, CPPIB, OMERS, BCPC, ADIA, Mubadala, GIC and Allianz did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comments.

($1 = 69.7900 Indian rupees)

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