Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) on Wednesday hosted the world’s largest virtual shareholder meet with 3.2 lakh shareholders live on the newly-minted JioMeet platform from 550 cities across 48 countries.
On the back of concluding the largest ever rights issue in India in digital-only mode, the 43rd AGM on Wednesday too was conducted through video conferencing for the first time ever. Shareholders attended from over 550 cities across 48 countries in Asia, Europe and the US through a specially-created video conferencing interface, live graphics and ticker tapes on the newly-minted JioMeet platform. Some shareholders logged in through K Fintech, Registrar and Share Transfer Agent to RIL. Several others attended the meeting through other video conferencing and audio-visual means. RIL has over 26 lakh shareholders.
During the AGM, Mukesh Ambani announced that Google has agreed to invest Rs 33,737 crore for a 7.7 per cent stake in Reliance Industries' technology venture and to cooperate on technology initiatives, including development of affordable smartphones. "We are delighted to welcome Google as a strategic investor in Jio Platforms. We have signed a binding partnership and an investment agreement under which Google will invest Rs 33,737 crores for a 7.7 per cent stake in Jio Platforms," Ambani said.
California-based Alphabet Inc joins Facebook Inc, which opened the investment cycle in Jio Platforms by picking 9.99 per cent stake for Rs 43,573.62 crore, as well as chipmaker Intel Corp and Qualcomm Inc. With Google coming on board, Reliance has completed its target of capital raising for Jio Platforms, he said.
With this deal, Reliance has sold 32.84 per cent stake in Jio Platforms Ltd - the unit that houses India's youngest but largest telecom firm Jio Infocomm and apps, to 13 marquee firms for a total of Rs 1,52,055.45 crore.
Proceeds from the stake sales in Jio Platforms, along with the Rs 53,124 crore raised in a rights issue in June and sale of a 49 per cent stake in its fuel retail network to BP last summer for Rs 7,629 crore will help the company become net debt-free, Ambani said. The cumulative fund raising by Reliance in less than three months is now Rs 2,12,809 crore as compared to net debt of Rs 1,61,035 crore as on March 31, 2020.
Google and Jio are partnering to build an Operating System that could power affordable 4G/5G smartphone. Also, JioMart, online shopping portal, and WhatsApp will be working closely to enable customers seamlessly transact with mom-and-pop stores.
Also, the group's petrochemical and retail business has received strong interest from financial and strategic investors on lines of the massive Rs 1.52 lakh crore that the technology venture Jio Platforms amassed in less than three months from the likes of Facebook and Google.
The only disappointment for investors was on the company's talks for a sale of a 20 per cent stake in oil-to-chemical (O2C) business to Saudi Aramco for an asking of USD 15 billion, with Ambani saying talks have "not progressed as per the original timeline".
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani on Wednesday announced that global partners and investors will be brought into the company's retail arm -- Reliance Retail in the next few quarters.
The CMD added that Reliance Retail has been at the forefront of bringing about the "organised retail revolution" in India. "At the heart of our business is our relentless commitment to serve customers at scale to meet their everyday needs by providing extreme value and convenience. We do this by partnering with farmers, small and medium-scale manufacturers, merchants, vendors, start-ups and global companies." Last year, Reliance Retail revenues were Rs 1,62,936 crore and EBITDA was Rs 9,654 crore, he said.
(Inputs from Agencies)