US-based Carlyle Group will invest $235 million (Rs 1,774.25 crore at $1 = Rs 75.50) in Bharti Airtel’s data centre business, Nxtra Data, the companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday. Carlyle will hold an approximately 25 per cent stake in the business on completion of the transaction, with Airtel continuing to hold the remaining stake of approximately 75 per cent. Nxtra will use the proceeds from deal to continue to scale up its infrastructure and offerings across the country.
The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals including the Competition Commission of India, values the Nxtra enterprise at approximately $1.2 billion (Rs 9,060 crore), it said.
“Rapid digitisation has opened up a massive growth opportunity for data centres in India and we plan to accelerate our investments to become a major player in this segment,” said Gopal Vittal, managing director and CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel.
“We are delighted to have Carlyle as a strategic partner in this exciting journey, particularly given their experience in this industry, and look forward to working with them,” he said.
New Delhi-based Nxtra, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, has 10 large data centres in India, and is building multiple large data centres to capture significant growth opportunities in the country.
Last year, Nxtra commissioned a data centre in Pune, and is building more in Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata, according to the statement.
“India is set to become one of the largest markets in the world for digital services. Airtel, with its proven track record of solid execution and customer focus, is well-positioned to leverage the potential growth of data centres in India. We look forward to collaborating with Airtel to unlock the full potential of Nxtra,” said Neeraj Bharadwaj, managing director of the Carlyle Asia Partners advisory team.
In a separate development, Carlyle Group will purchase a 20 per cent stake in the Mumbai-based Piramal Enterprises’ pharmaceutical unit for around $490 million.
Carlyle had invested more than $2.5 billion in India as of March 31, 2020, the statement added.