New Delhi: Akash and Isha Ambani, the elder twins of Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani, played a pivotal role in negotiating the deal with Facebook, reports have emerged just days after the Mark Zuckerberg-owned social media giant purchased 9.9% stake in Ambani-owned Reliance Jio. Also Read - After Facebook-Jio Deal, Reliance Industries' Chairman Mukesh Ambani Becomes Asia's Richest Person
Notably, Facebook announced earlier this week that it would be investing $5.7 billion or Rs 43,574 crore or 9.9% in Reliance’s digital assets, in what is its biggest deal since purchasing WhatsApp in 2014. Also Read - Can Facebook Become Amazon of The World With Reliance Jio?
According to reports, negotiations between the two sides had been on since at least mid-2019, with trusted close aides of the two honchos involved, including the Ambani twins. With global travel restrictions in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the meetings took place through videoconferences and phone calls in order to fast-track the talks. Also Read - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Explains Why he Bought 10% Stake at Reliance Jio
Eventually, the all-cash deal was finally arrived at and announced on April 21.
The deal will lead to formation of an e-commerce platform to take on giants Amazon and Walmart in India, which experts have described as ‘one of the world’s most competitive arenas.’
In a statement, Zuckerberg, a day after the deal was announced, said that ‘we’re committing to work together on some major projects that will open up commerce opportunities for people across India.’ The deal also makes Mukesh Ambani the richest man in Asia, ahead of Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma.
Born on October 23, 1991, Akash and Isha Ambani also have a younger brother, Anant (born 1995).
(With agency inputs)