Bharti Airtel to sell 25% stake in Nxtra to Carlyle

Bharti Airtel and Qualcomm

New Delhi: Bharti Airtel will sell a 25% stake in its datacentre arm NxtraData to Carlyle for $235 million. The enterprise valuation of this deal between Bharti Airtel and Carlyle is around $1.2 billion, the company statement said.

Under an agreement, private equity player Carlyle will invest $235 million in Bharti Airtel’s datacentre business NxtraData and acquire a 25% stake in Nxtra. While BhartiAirtel will continue to hold a 75% stake in Nxtra.

The deal is subject to the necessary regulatory approvals, including approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

Carlyle in the past has made investments in datacentre businesses in Coresite in the US and Itconic in Spain.

“Bharti Airtel, with its proven track record of solid execution and customer focus, is well-positioned to leverage the potential growth of datacentres in India. We look forward to collaborating with Bharti Airtel to unlock the full potential of Nxtra,” said Neeraj Bharadwaj, MD – Carlyle Asia Partners Advisory Team.

“We believe Airtel’s nation-wide network and strong governance coupled with Carlyle’s datacentre experience and operational capabilities creates a compelling partnership that will help Nxtra to capture growing demand as data usage continues to surge,” said Greg Zeluck,Co-Head, Carlyle Asia Partners Advisory Team.

Nxta (Nxtra Data Limited), a datacentre entity is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bharti Airtel. Based in New Delhi, Nxtra offers secure datacentre services to top Indian and global enterprises, hyperscalers, startups, SMEs and governments.

Nxtra will use the proceeds from this transaction to continue scaling up its infrastructure and offerings across the country. As the company is building multiple large datacentres to tap growth opportunities in India.

“Rapid digitization has opened up a massive growth opportunity for datacentres in India and we plan to accelerate our investments to become a major player in this segment,” said Gopal Vittal, MD & 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,” added Vittal.

Nxtra commissioned a state of the art datacentre in Pune last year and is building more across Chennai, Mumbai, and Kolkata.

It has 10 large datacentres with over 120 edge datacentres offering co-location services, cloud infrastructure, managed hosting, data backup, disaster recovery, and remote infrastructure management.

Following Indian government directive on data localizsation, India is witnessing a considerable surge in demand for secure datacentres. Along with that, there’s also a surge in the demand for cloud and digital services for consumers.

Airtel is the largest player in enterprise connectivity segment. It serves over 2,500 large businesses and over one million medium and small businesses.

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