Carlyle to acquire 25% stake in Airtel’s data centre biz

Sunil Bharti Mittal controlled Bharti Airtel is close to seal a deal with the US based investment firms Carlyle to explore opportunities in India’s digital services business.
Bharti Airtel, the telecom services provider, and Comfort Investments II, an affiliated entity of CAP V Mauritius, an investment fund managed and advised by affiliated entities of The Carlyle Group have announced an agreement under which Comfort Investments II will invest US$235 million in Nxtra Data, a subsidiary of Airtel.
The post-money enterprise valuation of Nxtra is approximately US$1.2 billion and Carlyle will hold a stake of approximately 25% in the business upon completion of the transaction, with Airtel continuing to hold the remaining stake of approximately 75%.

The transaction is subject to the necessary regulatory approvals, including approval from the Competition Commission of India.
Headquartered in New Delhi, Nxtra offers data centre services to Indian and global enterprises, hyperscalers, start-ups, SMEs and governments. Nxtra’s nation-wide portfolio of 10 data centres and more than 120 edge data centres provides customers with co-location services, cloud infrastructure, managed hosting, data backup, disaster recovery, and remote infrastructure management.

India is witnessing a considerable surge in demand for secure data centres as businesses undertake digital transformation and consumer demand for digital services continues to increase. The expansion of hyperscalers across the region following the government’s directive on data localization is propelling a lot of this demand, with other market drivers including the growth in user data and increase in cloud penetration.

Nxtra is building multiple large data centres across the country to capture the significant growth opportunities in India. Last year, the Company commissioned a state of the art data centre in Pune and is building more across Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata. Nxtra will use the proceeds from this transaction to continue scaling up its infrastructure and offerings across the country.
Rapid digitization has opened up a massive growth opportunity for data centres in India and Airtel plan to accelerate investments to become a major player in this segment.

Airtel’s nation-wide network and strong governance coupled with Carlyle’s data centre experience and operational capabilities creates a compelling partnership that will help Nxtra to capture growing demand as data usage continues to surge.

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