US private equity firm Silver Lake will invest Rs 5,655.75 crore in Jio Platforms for a 1.15% stake at an equity value of Rs 4.90 lakh crore, a deal which came less than two weeks after Facebook’s investment announcement into the unit of Reliance Industries and will further help the Indian oil-to-telecom conglomerate reduce debt.
“Reliance Industries Limited and Jio Platforms Limited announced today that Silver Lake will invest Rs 5,655.75 crore into Jio Platforms. This investment values Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 4.90 lakh crore and an enterprise value of Rs 5.15 lakh crore and represents a 12.5% premium to the equity valuation of the Facebook investment announced on April 22, 2020,” RIL and Jio in a joint statement said Monday.
Jio Platforms is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited focussed on next-generation technologies. Reliance Jio Infocomm, which provides connectivity platform to over 388 million subscribers, will continue to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jio Platforms.
On April 22, US social networking giant Facebook said it will acquire 9.9% stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 43,574 crore, which according to analysts, would help reduce debt at RIL.
“…Silver Lake is one of the most respected voices in technology and finance. We are excited to leverage insights from their global technology relationships for the Indian Digital Society’s transformation,” Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Ltd, said in a statement.
“…They (Jio Platforms) have brought extraordinary engineering capabilities to bear on bringing the power of low-cost digital services to a mass consumer and small businesses population. The market potential they are addressing is enormous…,” said Egon Durban, Silver Lake Co-CEO and Managing Partner.
The transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary approvals.
Moody’s Investors Service said that the investment further shows RIL’s ability and willingness to monetize its digital services business and reinforces the company’s commitment to achieve a zero-net debt position by March 31, 2021.
“This (Jio-Silver Lake deal) is credit positive as it enhances RIL’s already strong financial flexibility, including the recently announced rights issue ($7 billion) and investments by Facebook Inc,” Vikas Halan, Senior Vice President (Corporate Finance) at Moody’s said in a statement.
He said that the initiatives that could reduce net debt by about $13.6 billion from the reported net debt of $21.4 billion as on March 31, 2020. The valuation also establishes another pricing benchmark for Jio Platforms.
“In the wake of the severe economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, globally and especially within India, this partnership with one of the most renowned tech-investors globally, Silver Lake, has special significance. Comprehensive digitisation will be a vital component of the revitalisation of the Indian economy,” Jio Platforms said in the statement.
“The investment by Silver Lake is underlines further testament to the world-class digital platform that Jio has built, powered by leading technologies, such as Broadband connectivity, Smart Devices, Cloud and Edge Computing, Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Augmented and Mixed Reality and Blockchain,” it added.
Silver Lake has around $40 billion in combined assets under management and committed capital with a singular focus on the world’s great tech and tech-enabled opportunities. Its investments have included Airbnb, Alibaba, Ant Financial, Alphabet’s Verily and Waymo units, Dell Technologies, Twitter and numerous other global technology leaders.
Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisor to Reliance Industries and AZB & Partners and Davis Polk & Wardwell acted as legal counsels.
Edited by Harry Miller
Multi-million dollar internet investment announced for Puslinch – GuelphToday
PUSLINCH – Standard Broadband is making a major investment into high speed internet in Puslinch.
A press release announced $2.5 million in private funding from Standard Broadband to bring fibre optic infrastructure to the township.
Over 1,000 homes in Puslinch with limited access to quality internet will soon have fibre optic internet service available.
Mayor James Seeley said in a press release that he is thrilled that Standard Broadband chose to extend their network into Puslinch.
“This is a big deal for many Puslinch households,” Seeley said in a release. “It’s especially significant that the investment is being made now at a time when people are relying so much on their internet for work and study.”
Glenn James, chair of the Puslinch Highspeed Internet Initiative, has been advocating for better internet in Puslinch and said he sees this large investment as a big win for the town.
“The fact that it’s fibre optic and not wireless internet means that service will be much higher quality than almost all of the affected households currently have,” James said in the release. “The new fibre runs mean that there is opportunity for future expansion.”
Internet issues in Puslinch have been a topic of concern in the township for years. The town had recently partnered with Clearcable to consult on applying for government programs to improve their internet.
James said that the fact that this investment is privately funded means that the project will be start and finish much faster.
The project is set to begin in early August and service will become available as construction completes on a street by street basis. First connections will likely be available in mid-September.
For more details on Standard Broadband’s initial service area please see the map located on their website.
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He said: “More and more, China is being viewed as a separate asset class because it is a great risk diversifier. You can always debate return opportunities but just from a risk diversification perspective, it has sectors in the equity markets that complement well versus Canada.”
One of the biggest mental hurdles for advisors and investors to get over has been the discrepancy between Wall Street and Main Street. The common man requires a broad-based recovery of not just mega tech stocks but also of small and mid-sized businesses, and advisors must ensure clients are as broadly diversified as possible.
“There are a lot more strategies and tools at an advisor’s disposal today than 10-20 years ago in terms of diversification. Most, smartly, will have taken a step back a couple of months ago to make sure their asset allocations and time horizons were still appropriate, and that their clients’ objectives were the same. Be long-term focused and very diversified. That’s really the best advice.”
He added: “We did have bear market rallies last time in 08-09 – we had big declines, sometimes a recovery, then declines again. There is the feeling this time around that if we’re successful with the stimulus that’s been put in place and our ability to flatten and bend the curve, then there is an ability here for the economy to, not bounce back, but to come back.
“The contraction might be just a couple quarters and I think the V recovery is unlikely right now. This could be something we can power through over five or six quarters after the initial contraction.”
Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP says broadband investment essential in region – BlackburnNews.com
Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP says broadband investment essential in region
June 4, 2020 11:35am
Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker says his government’s $150 million for broadband infrastructure will be welcome news for many constituents who are underserved.
He says they face challenges staying connected with limited to access to cellular and broadband connectivity especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He says it will help bring Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound residents one step closer to more reliable connectivity.
Once the ICON program opens its initial application intake later this month, applicants –telecom companies, municipal governments, Indigenous communities and non-profits — will be invited to submit innovative proposals to lend their investment, expertise, and experience to improve connectivity. The province will fund a portion of each approved project.
The Improving Connectivity in Ontario, or ICON, has the potential to leverage up to $500 million in total partner funding.
“Now more than ever before, our government recognizes that the people of Ontario need to be connected to learn, work, and run their businesses. This program is an important step toward bridging the digital divide,” said Infrastructure Minister Laurie Scott.
The Improving Connectivity in Ontario program is part of Up to Speed: Ontario’s Broadband and Cellular Action Plan, which includes $315-million to improve and expand cellular service and broadband in rural and remote communities across Ontario. In the span of a year, Ontario has advanced initiatives to improve access to broadband and cellular service across eastern, western and northern Ontario. All of these initiatives are expected to generate more than $1 billion in investments over five years.
As much as 12 per cent of households in Ontario – mostly in rural, remote or northern areas – are underserved or unserved, according to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
The Province is investing in the $190 million Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) project to bring high-speed broadband to 50,000 more homes and businesses across Southwestern Ontario. Recently, SWIFT Inc. awarded contracts to bring high-speed internet to thousands of homes and businesses in Lambton, Wellington and Norfolk counties. More contracts are expected to be awarded for additional counties across southwestern Ontario.
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