Bharti Airtel's data centre business attracts major investment

Bharti Airtel's data centre business attracts major investment

There’s been an interesting addition to the recent flurry of investment in Indian telecommunications, with news involving Bharti Airtel, India’s largest integrated telecommunications operator, and Comfort Investments II.

Comfort Investments II, an affiliated entity of CAP V Mauritius Limited, an investment fund managed and advised by affiliated entities of The Carlyle Group, will invest $235 million in Nxtra Data Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Airtel engaged in the data centre business. 

The Carlyle Group, described as one of the world’s largest and most successful investment firms, will hold a stake of approximately 25 percent in the business upon completion of the transaction, with Airtel continuing to hold the remaining stake of approximately 75 percent. The transaction is subject to the necessary regulatory approvals, including approval from the Competition Commission of India. The partners say that the post-money enterprise valuation of Nxtra is approximately $1.2 billion.

This isn’t a part of Bharti Airtel we hear a lot about in these pages. But perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised that it has attracted investor interest. As the partners point out, India is witnessing a considerable surge in demand for secure data centres, not least thanks to the government’s directive on data localisation, and Nxtra is clearly well positioned to take advantage of this demand.

Nxtra offers secure data centre services to leading Indian and global enterprises, hyperscalers, start-ups, SMEs and governments. Nxtra’s nationwide 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.

Nxtra is building multiple large data centres across the country and Carlyle, which has prior experience in data centre ownership and has already made diverse investments in India, clearly sees strong growth prospects in this market.

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