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          亞洲首富即將推出電商網站,挑戰亞馬遜和沃爾瑪

          P R Sanjai, 彭博社 2019年10月31日

          這家石化集團將把增長重心轉向數據和數字服務。

          億萬富翁穆凱什·安巴尼朝著為印度打造電商巨頭的目標又邁進了一步:他宣布計劃成立一家價值240億美元的數字服務類控股公司,該公司將成為他主宰印度互聯網購物的主要工具。

          安巴尼的公司信實工業(Reliance Industries)的董事會批準了一項提案,同意向該全資子公司投資1.08萬億盧比(150億美元),該公司將把這筆資金轉投給集團旗下的電信企業Reliance Jio Infocomm。信實工業于10月25日表示,Jio公司目前擁有6500億盧比(92億美元)資本,這一系列的資本轉移將讓Jio在2020年3月前基本實現零債務。

          亞洲首富的這一舉動,說明這家石化集團未來將把增長重心轉向數據和數字服務;該集團正在打造一個在線平臺,在印度國內和亞馬遜(Amazon)以及沃爾瑪(Walmart)的Flipkart Online Services Pvt.等同類服務開展競爭。安巴尼于今年8月向股東表示,包括零售在內的新業務未來幾年可能會為信實貢獻一半的收益,目前這一比例約為32%。

          有了這家新的控股公司,安巴尼也在為首次公開募股(IPO)做準備,他誓要在五年內完成IPO。自2016年Jio推出4G網絡以來,該公司已經以逾3.5億的用戶數量躍居印度首位。安巴尼還一直開展收購和股權收購,以建立合作伙伴網絡,為他的電子商務計劃奠定基礎。

          “由于我們的數字生態系統覆蓋范圍廣、規模大,已經有潛在戰略合作伙伴向我們表達了強烈興趣。”安巴尼在一份聲明中表示,“我們將為平臺公司引入合適的合作伙伴,為信實工業的股東創造并釋放重要價值。”

          信實工業可能效仿阿里巴巴集團(Alibaba Group Holdings)和Alphabet的模式,通過非強制性可轉換優先股的方式向這家控股公司注資。信實工業稱,該部門將獲得母公司對Jio的6500億盧比的股權投資。

          在股權注入后,Jio公司將把價值1.08萬億盧比的債務轉移到母公司的一個子公司,這樣Jio除了和電視有關的債務就幾乎零負債。

          精簡結構

          花旗集團(Citigroup)在一份研究報告中表示:“Jio重組資本結構的目的是,將所有數字資產整合到一個實體之下,減少該實體的債務并精簡結構,以提高其吸引力,最終實現貨幣化。”

          1999年,英語教師馬云白手起家創建阿里巴巴;現在,安巴尼正利用自己工業帝國的影響力,通過連接零售商和消費者,為印度打造類似的企業。市值4540億美元的阿里巴巴公布,在截至今年3月的一年中,企業利潤達130億美元,營收560億美元。這家中國巨頭的擴張已經將夫妻店囊括在內,這也是安巴尼希望加以開拓的一個重要領域。

          今年以來,信實工業的股價上漲了28%,而標普孟買交易所敏感指數(S&P BSE Sensex index)僅上漲了8.8%。該股目前股價接近歷史高點,10月29日印度假期結束后恢復交易。

          安巴尼在今年8月表示,信實工業已經為Jio斥資近500億美元, Jio以免費電話和平價數據殺入市場,迫使一些競爭對手退出或合并,撼動了整個行業。

          首席財務官斯里坎斯在10月初表示,截至9月30日,Jio的債務約為8400億盧比。截至9月,該公司該季度的獨立利潤為99億盧比,營收為1235.4億盧比。

          根據彭博億萬富翁指數,這位富豪的凈資產約為560億美元。他還透露,計劃將信實集團20%的石油和化工業務以750億美元的企業價值出售給沙特阿拉伯石油公司(Saudi Arabian oil Co.)。近幾年,安巴尼在新業務上花了幾十億美元,他目前正在清理母公司的資產負債表,目標是讓它在不到兩年的時間里實現零負債凈額。(財富中文網)

          譯者:Agatha

          Billionaire Mukesh Ambani moved a step closer to creating an e-commerce giant for India, unveiling plans to set up a $24 billion digital-services holding company that would become the main vehicle in his ambition to dominate the country’s internet shopping space.

          The board of Ambani’s Reliance Industries approved a proposal to plow 1.08 trillion rupees ($15 billion) into the fully owned subsidiary, which will in turn invest that amount in Reliance Jio Infocomm, the conglomerate’s telecommunications venture. A series of capital transfers would make Jio, which already has capital of 650 billion rupees ($9.2 billion), almost debt free by March 2020, the parent said Oct. 25.

          The move by Asia’s richest man is the latest sign of the oil-to-petrochemicals group’s pivot toward data and digital services for future growth, as it builds an online platform to take on the likes of Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart Online Services Pvt. in India. Ambani told shareholders in August that the new businesses, including retail, are likely to contribute half of Reliance’s earnings in a few years, versus about 32% now.

          With the new holding firm, Ambani is also readying the businesses for an initial public offering, which he has vowed to complete within five years. Since Jio’s 4G network rolled out in 2016, the carrier has vaulted to the top in India with more than 350 million users. Ambani has also been stitching together a network of partners through acquisitions and stake purchases to build a backbone for his e-commerce plans.

          “Given the reach and scale of our digital ecosystem, we have received strong interest from potential strategic partners,” Ambani said in a statement. “We will induct the right partners in our platform company, creating and unlocking meaningful value for RIL shareholders.”

          Reliance Industries will invest the money in the holding company—likely on the lines of Alibaba Group Holdings and Alphabet—through optionally convertible preference shares. The unit will acquire the parent’s equity investment of 650 billion rupees in Jio, according to Reliance Industries.

          Following the equity infusion, Reliance Jio will transfer liabilities worth 1.08 trillion rupees to a subsidiary of the parent, turning Jio almost debt free, excluding airwave-related liabilities.

          Streamlining Structure

          “The reorganization of Jio’s capital structure is intended at consolidating all digital assets under one entity, reducing debt at this entity and streamlining the structure to make it attractive for eventual monetization,” Citigroup said in a research report.

          While former English teacher Jack Ma started Alibaba in 1999 from scratch, Ambani is using the heft of his empire to build something similar for India by connecting retailers and consumers. Alibaba, whose market value is $454 billion, reported a profit of $13 billion in the year to March, on a revenue of $56 billion. The Chinese giant’s expansion has included mom-and-pop shops—a key segment Ambani is also seeking to tap.

          Shares of Reliance Industries have rallied 28% this year, compared with an 8.8% gain in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex index. The stock, near an all-time high, resumed trading on October 29 when India returns from a holiday.

          Ambani said in August that Reliance Industries has spent almost $50 billion on Jio, whose entry with free calls and cheap data pushed some rivals to exit or merge in a consolidation that shook up the industry.

          Jio’s debt stood at about 840 billion rupees as on Sept. 30, Chief Financial Officer V. Srikanth said earlier October. It had a stand-alone profit of 9.9 billion rupees for the quarter through September on revenue of 123.54 billion rupees.

          The tycoon, whose net worth is about $56 billion as per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, has also revealed a plan to sell 20% of Reliance’s oil and chemicals business to Saudi Arabian Oil Co. at an enterprise value of $75 billion. After years of spending billions of dollars on the new businesses, Ambani is cleaning up the parent’s balance sheet, with the goal of making it free of net debt in less than two years.

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