New Delhi: After Facebook invested $5.7 billion in Reliance Jio Platforms, Reliance Industries’ Chairman Mukesh Ambani’s furtune rose from $4 billion to $49 billion on Wednesday, making him Asia’s richest person yet again. Also Read - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Explains Why he Bought 10% Stake at Reliance Jio
Notably, Facebook yesterday announced an investment of USD 5.7 billion to buy 9.99 per cent stake in the firm that houses Reliance Jio — a deal that will help billionaire Mukesh Ambani create an e-commerce giant that could rival Amazon and Walmart by linking local kirana stores and consumers over the highly popular chat service WhatsApp. Also Read - What Does Jio and Facebook Partnership Mean? Explains Mukesh Ambani
After the announcement of the Facebook-Jio deal, the Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) stocks gained 10 per cent in Wednesday trade. Also Read - Facebook Buys 9.99 Per Cent Minority Stake in Jio Platforms For $5.7 Billion
Further, Ambani is even ahead of Jack Ma by about $3 billion at 11.20 am London time, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Ambani had in August last year told RIL shareholders about plans to sell stake in some of the businesses with the goal of making the firm free of net debt by 2021. The deal was originally targeted for March 31, but the outbreak of COVID-19 pushed the negotiations into a virtual zone.
WhatsApp has over 400 million users in India while Jio has 388 million-plus phone subscribers. Facebook has about 250 million users in India.
This is Facebook’s biggest stake buy since its 2014 acquisition of WhatsApp. The US giant has typically been buying into media and online properties till now and the investment in Jio Platforms underscores the potential it sees in a country that is rapidly embracing online payment and e-commerce as more people get smartphones.
Earlier this month, Ambani’s was ranked 17th in the latest world billionaires list by Forbes with a net worth of $44.3 billion.