Bharti Airtel and Comfort Investments II, an affiliated entity of CAP V Mauritius Limited, an investment fund managed and advised by affiliated entities of The Carlyle Group announced an agreement under which Comfort Investments II will invest US$235 million in Nxtra Data Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Airtel engaged in the data centre business.
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.
Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel, commented: “At Airtel, we have built a robust data centre portfolio that is future-ready and scalable. For us, the security and data privacy requirements of our customers are our top priorities, which we have established as a key differentiator for our data centre offerings. Rapid digitization 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. 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.”
Headquartered in New Delhi, Nxtra from Airtel offers secure data centre services to leading Indian and global enterprises, hyperscalers, start-ups, SMEs and governments. Nxtra’s nation-wide portfolio of 10 large 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.
Neeraj Bharadwaj, managing director of the Carlyle Asia Partners advisory team, commented: “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.”
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 an increase in cloud penetration.
Greg Zeluck, Co-Head, Carlyle Asia Partners advisory team, added: “Airtel is a high-quality partner in India with whom Carlyle executives have built a strong and constructive relationship with over many years. We are delighted to be collaborating on this together, and believe 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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