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RIL to plan IPO for Reliance Jio: Bloomberg

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Mumbai: Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) may launch the initial public offering (IPO) for Reliance Jio by late 2018 or early 2019 to further challenge the collective might of Airtel and the Idea-Vodafone combine, according to a Bloomberg report. Reliance Jio, which hasn’t made a profit since its official launch last year, is targeting to improve its financial performance before diluting any stake.

Reliance Jio reported net loss of Rs2.71 billion in the quarter ended 30 September 2017, though the business made profit before interest and taxes over the period. The wireless operator is “ahead of our schedule in terms of the returns” generated, Ambani said at a recent event.

A Reliance Jio listing would cap a return to the mobile market for Ambani, more than a decade after a family feud that led him to cede control of a previous telecom venture to his younger brother. Reliance Jio, which is wholly owned by RIL, launched a free-for-life call service last year that triggered a price war and consolidation in one of the world’s most crowded mobile markets.

Bharti Airtel Ltd this year agreed to absorb Tata Group’s mobile phone business, while Vodafone Group Plc and Idea Cellular Ltd announced they would merge their local operations to create the nation’s largest wireless operator. Despite being the newest entrant, Reliance Jio has accumulated more than 138.6 million subscribers, making it the fourth largest operator at the end of September, according to data from Trai.

Deliberations about a Reliance Jio listing are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction, Bloomberg’s sources said. A representative for Reliance Industries declined to comment.

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