RIL to pump in $15.27 B in new Digital Services Subsidiary

RIL to pump in $15.27 B in new digital services subsidiary

Reliance Industries on Friday said that it will set up a wholly-owned subsidiary for its digital platform initiatives with an investment of Rs 1.08 lakh crore.

Accordingly, the company's move will lead to the creation of the largest digital services platform company in India.

"The board of directors of RIL today approved the formation of a wholly-owned subsidiary (WOS) for 'Digital Platform' initiatives and investment of Rs 108,000 crore in the WOS through OCPS (optionally convertible preference shares)," RIL said in a statement.

"The WOS will also acquire RIL's equity investment of Rs 65,000 crore in RJIL," it added.

On its part, the board of directors of Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) approved a scheme of arrangement between RJIL and certain classes of its creditors, including debenture holders, for transfer of identified liabilities of up to Rs 108,000 crore to RIL.

"Rights issue of OCPS aggregating up to Rs 108,000 crore for the purpose of payment of consideration for transfer of identified liabilities - WOS to subscribe to this issue," the statement said.

Consequently, RJIL will become virtually a net debt free company by March 31, 2020, with exception of spectrum related liabilities.

"Like global technology peers, the 'Digital Platform Company' with negligible leverage makes a compelling investment proposition for both strategic and financial investors, many of whom have evinced strong interest in partnering with us," the statement said. 

"It will have significant financial strength to address the 'Digital Services' opportunity in India. The proposed consolidated structure will be compliant with all statutory requirements," it added.

Earlier, with the completion of majority of RJIL's capital expenditure, for optimising operational efficiencies and better monetisation of the 'core digital connectivity platform', tower and fibre passive infrastructure assets of approximately Rs 125,000 crore were demerged from it (RJIL) in March 2019 to 'Infrastructure Investment Trusts' (InvITs).

Post this demerger, RJIL has become asset light having a balance sheet size of Rs 237,000 crore.

RIL's digital platforms include the categories MyJio, JioTV, JioCinema, JioNews and JioSaavn.

The company said in the statement that the move will ensure that monetisation opportunities accrue to the shareholders efficiently.

"There is no impact in the value pre and post reorganisation for any shareholder; There is no impact on the consolidated debt of RIL," the RIL statement said.

The company further said that the move will not impact RIL's standalone credit profile given its robust cash flows and conservative leverage.

RIL's Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said: "This new company will be a truly transformational and disruptive digital services platform. It will bring together India's No.1 connectivity platform, leading digital app ecosystem and world's best tech capabilities globally, to create a truly Digital Society for each Indian. Jio has been heralding the digital services revolution in India and will continue to do so in the years to come.

"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."

Source: IANS