BENGALURU: Facebook will buy a 10% stake in the digital business of India’s Reliance Industries for $5.7 billion, as the social media firm looks to leverage its highly popular WhatsApp chat service to offer digital payment services.
The deal will help the Indian conglomerate cut debt that has piled up in its expensive push to secure top spot for its Jio Infocomm telecom business.
Facebook’s investment will make it the largest minority shareholder in Jio Platforms Ltd, Jio said in a statement on Wednesday, putting the enterprise value of the business at around $66 billion. Jio Platforms holds a host of Reliance’s digital assets including Jio Infocomm.
WhatsApp is trying to secure approval to roll out its digital payment service in India, which will see it compete in a crowded market with the likes of Google Pay and Paytm.