Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL), the unlisted subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) on Monday announced a plan to issue 15 billion equity shares of Rs 10 each to the existing shareholders (to raise Rs 15,000 crore) ahead of the launch of the 4G telecom services in April. This is the second largest rights issue announced after State Bank of India, which had raised Rs 16,700 crore in January 2008. RJio's shareholders include RIL - which owns close to 99.16 per cent stake while around one per cent is owned by the Nahatas of HFCL in a personal capacity. This means 99 per cent of the Rs 15,000 crore will come from RIL's coffers.
As on September last year, RIL had cash equivalents and investments of Rs 87,911 crore. RIL's board of directors is meeting on Tuesday to announce its December quarter results and is expected to take a call on the investment. RIL has invested Rs 30,000 crore in RJio in the form of equity and also provided guarantee to RJIL's debt obligations of around Rs 12,000 crore, as on March 31, 2015. RIL is expected to fund significantly large portion of RJIL's total project cost as equity and most of the equity is likely to be invested before it ties up most of the debt, analysts said. RJio's peak gearing is, therefore, expected to be around two times. As on March 31, 2015, RJIL's total capital employed was around Rs 60,000 crore. The additional money raised by RJio is expected to be spent for spectrum acquisition cost. On Monday, Anil Ambani's Reliance Communications (RCom) signed spectrum trading and sharing agreement with RJIL for 800-850 MHz spectrum.